‘Off the Deep End’

By July 5, 2006Briefly Legal

Here’s an op-ed by the above title from Steve Moore that appeared in the Opinion Journal last month on the disappearance of diving boards at community pools around the country. Talk to anyone and they’ll tell you that three-meter broads have been removed from neighborhood pools for “liability” reasons. While it’s unfortunately true that there have been a few spectacular injuries and a few spectacular verdicts, overall, the incidence of injuries is relatively small. At Moore’s local pool, for example, he notes there’s not been a single high-dive injury in its 20 years of operation. Says Moore, “Under a rational insurance model, our premiums should be going down, not up…” Good point. He adds that overall, “the number of annual injuries from diving boards is a fraction of the number from bicycles, playgrounds, tackle football, bungee jumping, skiing and even walking across the street.”

So why the virtual moratorium on three-meter broads? Cherchez the trial lawyers, of course. There is more litigation and so it makes us completely risk averse in every aspect of our lives. Between the trial lawyers and the lefty food — and recess — police, they are endeavoring to create a Nerf-encrusted, no-risk-guaranteed nation.

Even if they have to sue everyone to get there.