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Letter: Teenagers stopped working thanks to liability suits

For the letter writer who questioned where all the teenagers have gone who used to comb neighborhoods offering to shovel snow, rake leaves or mow lawns for a few dollars, there are several answers I can think of. The most prominent is homeowner liability.

The 1960s brought this concept to the forefront when it became popular for everyone to sue anyone for just about anything; children could sue their parents, patients could sue their doctors, and parents whose children suffered any personal damage at all (even if it was their own fault) on someone else’s property could sue the property owner.

Most homeowners quickly decided that instead of paying exorbitant amounts to increase their insurance coverage for these sorts of situations, it was less expensive to just turn away any entrepreneurial youngsters.

It didn’t take long for the teens of that era to realize this was no longer a viable source of extra spending money, and soon there was nobody ringing doorbells with yard tools in tow anymore.

Loretta Michaels

Orchard Park

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