Ski Resort Settles Wrongful Death After Lift Death
Generally speaking, ski resorts are very difficult to sue. Notably, skiing occurs in specific states that draw income on ski tourism. Skiing is also dangerous and people are injured all the time. Hence, these states move to limit lawsuits and the allegations you can make to file them. Ski resorts rarely lose lawsuits filed by the public, so when they do, it’s because they messed up.
In this case, a ski resort settled a lawsuit with the family of a man who slipped from the lift and was hanged by a piece of his own clothing. Bystanders say the man struggled for 8 minutes, but no one could help him. Family members filed a lawsuit against the ski resort on the grounds that the lift was not functioning properly and that employees did not have training in life evacuation procedures that could have saved the man’s life. Importantly, they noted violations under a piece of state legislation that places a specific duty of care on ski resorts.
In states with skiing as a tourist industry, these states are very protectionist when it comes to lawsuits. Instead of making general allegations of negligence, they pass legislation that outlines the duties of both skiers and the resorts. This legislation helps limit the type of allegations you can make.
Assumption of risk in ski resort lawsuits
Injuries occur frequently to skiers, but every skier assumes the risk of injury. They are also, by law, guaranteed that certain safety standards will be met. In cases where those safety standards have not been met, lawsuits can be filed and won on the basis of a duty of care violation.
If you slip and fall at Walmart, there is no legislation package that covers every possible incident and limits Walmart’s duty of care. But the situation is less complicated often because Walmarts are expected to be safe while skiing is not.
Most lawsuits involving injuries to a skier are prevented under the language of assumption of risk in states like Colorado that earn big on ski tourism.
Mechanical failures and obvious dangers
In most cases, lawsuits against ski resorts allege that either something went wrong with the lift or that the resort left an obstruction in the way that presented a danger to skiers. Generally, the obstruction must not be obvious and cause substantial injury. The resort has a duty of care to keep the grounds safe, so unsafe grounds under their control can be actionable.
Further, ski resorts must ensure lifts are operating safely, so, when someone is killed on a lift, it is often the responsibility of the resort or the manufacturer.
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Payer Law handles lawsuits filed against amusement parks and other venues that provide entertainment to the public. Call our Miami personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your lawsuit immediately.