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Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2012

25 years ago: KU not liable in sledding accident, court rules

December 12, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Dec. 12, 1987:

The Kansas Supreme Court had ruled the previous day that Kansas University was not legally responsible for injuries sustained nearly three years ago by a freshman in a campus sledding accident. Gregory Scott Boaldin of Derby had filed a $5 million personal injury suit against KU after suffering serious back injuries, requiring two operations, when his plastic disc-shaped sled had hit a tree in the Daisy Hill area. In spite of the damage caused to Boaldin, who had been 19 at the time of the accident, the court ruled that the area where the mishap occurred was used by both students and the public at large for a recreational area. State law held that a government entity could not be held responsible for injuries sustained on public property unless it was guilty of gross or wanton negligence. At the time of Boaldin's accident, students had been permitted to check out cafeteria trays to use as sleds, a policy intended to prevent theft. Although KU officials had discontinued the practice shortly after the accident, it had no policy against sledding. "Sledding is a winter tradition on the hills of the University of Kansas campus," Justice Donald Allegrucci had written in the opinion. "Although university officers had discussed prohibiting sledding, they concluded that such a prohibition would be unenforceable.... Almost every recreational activity has risks of injury."

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