With spring break ski trips on many people’s minds this month, it’s important to remember that, when you go skiing, it’s “at your own risk.”
The purchase of a lift ticket at ski resorts throughout North America includes your agreement that you are skiing at your own risk and that any accident you have on the mountain is your responsibility. Ski resorts assume no liability for injuries by skiers on their mountains. If you are hurt while skiing, mountain patrol will help you off the mountain and transport you to medical care, but after that, you are on your own.
A personal injury case in Nevada is making its way to the courts. On Feb. 22 of this year, a woman who was a beginning level skier was on the slow run at the bottom of a hill at Heavenly when she was wiped out by an off-duty Heavenly employee. The crash knocked the woman unconscious and has left her with memory loss and the need to see a neurologist.
Vail Resorts, the parent company to Heavenly, contends that, because the employee was off duty at the time of the accident, the incident is a skier-to-skier case and the resort has no part in it.
Attorneys for the victim say that, because the employee is in the United States on a visa that allows her to work as a seasonal worker at the resort, and because she is provided with free housing, a free ski pass, and free access to the mountain during her off time, she is the responsibility of Vail Resorts.
Attorneys are suing both the individual employee and Vail Resorts. This case will make its way into U.S. District Court. The couple is seeking $75,000 and legal fees.
If you are planning a ski trip this spring break, please be careful out there. I
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