While I do agree that demands of insurance companies have made some activities more difficult I think it is unfair to blame the insurance industry.
You talked about when we were young you just pulled out your toboggan and away you went. However, when we were young we took responsibility for our own actions. If we tobogganed down a hill and got hurt we got patched up and then went back and did it again. We didn't sue the municipality.
That thought never entered our mind. Once the lawsuits began we needed the legal system to say no. This accident was just that, an accident. It is what happens when you engage in potentially dangerous activities. It wasn't the municipality's fault. Instead of the courts using common sense they went crazy figuring that if someone got hurt then someone else should be blamed and the injured party should be compensated. Once the practice of lawsuits started then it snowballed until we have the mess we have today. The insurance industry, who are the ones who have to pay the ridiculous court settlements, have responded in the only way they can. Limit the risk.
I will admit that there are times the municipality is at fault and in cases like that the injured party should be compensated. However, in the majority of cases it wasn't the municipality's fault. There are times when an injury is serious and potentially life changing or even life threatening but the seriousness of the accident does not make it someone else's fault. We need to discard the thought that every stupid thing we do must be the fault of someone else. We, as a society, need to embrace the concept of taking responsibility for our own actions. If we can do that I am sure the insurance industry would be happy to lighten up on their demands to limit the risk.
We can go back to simpler days when we could do stupid things, get hurt, patch ourselves up (or not), and go back and do it again without suing the municipality.
Geoff Solomon, Meaford
retired insurance broker