The bill was offered by Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, following the drowning death last summer of Ethan Cory of Joplin at The Swimmin' Hole:
Water parks have existed for more than 100 years in Missouri, so why wait until 2008 to pass this legislation if it’s so integral to their patrons’ safety? I certainly sympathize with the Cory family, but the state’s reaction is once again inappropriate. If the water park was negligent, the Cory family is entitled to a huge settlement. But bringing in the government to punish every other water park is not the answer.
Which is the greater incentive to carry liability insurance: a government mandate, or the risk of losing your entire business in a lawsuit in the event that negligence or faulty equipment results in an accident? Legislators forget the law of unintended consequences. Why set the liability level at $1 million? Why not $10 million? Or why not let the individual businesses decide what level of insurance they need? If we set it too high, do we needlessly destroy small businesses and neighborhood pools, and put people out of work?
This type of legislation is well-intentioned, but ultimately irresponsible.