Ski Season Means More Lawsuits
Ski season has seen a deluge of federal lawsuits seeking large sums in damages. For example, a California resident recently filed suit for negligence against a snowboarder who hit her from behind at Colorado’s Vail Ski Resort in a collision that resulted in severe injuries. The victim suffered rib and clavicle fractures.She sued the defendant in U.S. District Court in Denver for the January 17th collision. She seeks economic and non-economic damages, as well as attorney fees, amounting to over $75,000. Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, federal courts can hear cases between citizens of different states only when the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000. (28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)).
According to the complaint, the victim was skiing in front of the defendant on an intermediate run in Blue Sky Basin, a recent expansion to Vail. The defendant allegedly began snowboarding “out of control” at a high speed on The Star trail and hit the victim from behind. The victim’s husband was skiing behind the two and witnessed the crash.
The defendant’s negligence, the lawsuit alleges, was the only cause of the crash. As the uphill skier, he had the primary duty to avoid below skiers.
Also this winter, the family of a snowboarder who suffered frostbite and broken bones after falling 30 feet from a ski lift has sued the North Carolina ski resort where the incident occurred.
After being stuck on the lift for several hours, the child panicked and jumped. It was snowing, and the temperature was 14 degrees when the lift closed. After about two hours, the sun had set, and the wind chill dropped to roughly six degrees. High winds and snow-making equipment drowned out the boy’s cries for help.
Eventually, the child took off his snowboard and jumped to the frozen ground below. The fall knocked the child unconscious. When he woke up, he crawled roughly 200 yards out of the woods to the adjacent ski run. He then crawled another 300 yards down the run to the terrain park area, which was open for night skiing. Two skiers found him and called for help.
The Tennessee family claims the staff at Sugar Mountain Resort were dismissive when the child’s mother reported him missing. Instead of launching a rescue effort immediately, employees told her that her child probably wandered off the trails.
The suit alleges Sugar Mountain staff was negligent in failing to check the lift before shutting it down on February 14, 2016. The parents also seek around $75,000 in damages. The case was filed in federal court in Asheville, North Carolina, and does not list the child’s name or age. Sugar Mountain employees could not be reached for comment.
Finally, a Santa Fe, New Mexico resident recently filed a federal suit accusing a skier of negligently crashing into him. The plaintiff filed suit this winter in federal court in Denver, alleging that the defendant crashed into him on an intermediate run at Snowmass (which is part of Aspen Resort in Colorado.) The April 2016 accident resulted in a severely broken ankle that required the plaintiff to undergo several surgeries and physical therapy.
He was in Snowmass as a volunteer at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic. He was assisting a paraplegic when the defendant–who was racing a friend–approached the plaintiff and the disabled skier at an uncontrolled speed. The defendant struck the plaintiff and the paraplegic, which sent the paraplegic 20 yards down the trail.
Again, the plaintiff seeks roughly $75,000 from the defendant to cover medical expenses and other costs associated with the injuries.
The personal injury lawyers at Neumann Law Group represent victims throughout the Los Angeles area. Call us at (213) 227-0001 for a free consultation.
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California Appeals Court Holds Negligence Action Against Therapist is Barred by Litigation Privilege, Neumann Law Group, January 4, 2017.
California Appeals Court Affirms Grant of Summary Judgment to Defendant Following Restaurant Slip and Fall, Neumann Law Group, December 8, 2016.