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I saw this article in the Summit Daily News today about Vail getting sued two times over snowboarding employees crashing into and injuring skiers. The article: Vail Resorts faces 2nd lawsuit over ski accidents | SummitDaily.com, This whole thing is ridiculous. For once, I am siding with Vail Resorts on this one. The lawsuit alleges that Vail didn't train or insure the employees. WTF? Train for what???? The insurance thing makes no sense either.None of the other guests at the resort are required to have any insurance. No part of their jobs involves snowboarding and they were enjoying the resort as normal guests on their days off. How on earth is Vail liable for any of its employees that are not on the clock? This seems like some pretty frivolous litigation to me.
 

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Doesn't owning a lift pass or ticket relinquish you of the ability to sue for such things. I am looking at the back of my 7 Springs ticket and it specifically says purchasing it releases your right to hold the mountain liable for (laundry list of risks) one of which is "negligence of Seven Springs employees or agents", indemnify, hold harmless and reimburse them for all losses from any claims associated with such risks.

I'd have to imagine most resorts use similar boilerplate that would include a clause similar to that.
 

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Most resorts have agreements in which you waive their liability even in the case of negligence. As of all User Agreements, whether it stands up in court depends on how good the lawyer and how bad the damage.
 

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Doesn't owning a lift pass or ticket relinquish you of the ability to sue for such things. I am looking at the back of my 7 Springs ticket and it specifically says purchasing it releases your right to hold the mountain liable for (laundry list of risks) one of which is "negligence of Seven Springs employees or agents", indemnify, hold harmless and reimburse them for all losses from any claims associated with such risks.

I'd have to imagine most resorts use similar boilerplate that would include a clause similar to that.
These agreements don't hold up in court if the resort is proven to be negligent. Meaning, if Vail paid off duty employees to go around taking out skiers, you could still sue the crap out of them regardless of what rights you waived by buying a lift ticket.

Obviously, that's not what happened (cool idea to drum up business on off peak days though) but that's similar to the case the lawyers will be making against Vail -- they were negligent for whatever reason.

Sounds like a bunch of crap to me.
 

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It won't get far at all. They did not act on behalf of the mountain nor are they vicariously liable when they're not working. Stupid case and sadly, it's the most common type. Uneducated people these days think you can sue for anything that hurts you haha.
 

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These agreements don't hold up in court if the resort is proven to be negligent. Meaning, if Vail paid off duty employees to go around taking out skiers, you could still sue the crap out of them regardless of what rights you waived by buying a lift ticket.

Obviously, that's not what happened (cool idea to drum up business on off peak days though) but that's similar to the case the lawyers will be making against Vail -- they were negligent for whatever reason.

Sounds like a bunch of crap to me.
But wouldn't the case you hypothesized be considered somethinng other than negligence since there is an element of intent? I thought negligence, by it's very definition in the parlance of lawyers, meant an absence of intent. Any ideas?
 

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There is negligence then there is gross negligence. I think Smboarder is using Criminal negligence as example.

For example, if the lawyer manage to prove (or scare the resort enough to settle) that resort have a habit of encouraging the employees to push the safety limit (e.g. be reckless) to make the resort more appealing to thrill seekers then the lawyer can try to push for gross negligence.

The suite seems pretty frivolous, but if it gets to trial who knows what happens. Jury in the United States is often worse than Russian roulette.
 

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Anybody get the feeling that both those people that got injured were gapers. Seriously though I can see both sides of this but there is an inherent danger you take when you get on the slopes. Its just like biking on a heavy traffic area.
 

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"Sullivan said Benschop has been diagnosed with a concussion as a result of the accident. He said she is being treated by a neurologist and fears her brain injury might be permanent."

Ummm...bitch has a concussion, what "permamant brain injury" are they talking about? Who the fuck writes this garbage.


"He said he was heading down the mountain with his wife and had passed through gates that lead to the Olympic run when she was hit."

That's what happens when gapers wander into places they have no business being. I don't care how good your are, if you're bombing down a run at full speed and some bitch cuts you off from the side, you probably won't be able to avoid her.
 

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There is negligence then there is gross negligence. I think Smboarder is using Criminal negligence as example.

For example, if the lawyer manage to prove (or scare the resort enough to settle) that resort have a habit of encouraging the employees to push the safety limit (e.g. be reckless) to make the resort more appealing to thrill seekers then the lawyer can try to push for gross negligence.

The suite seems pretty frivolous, but if it gets to trial who knows what happens. Jury in the United States is often worse than Russian roulette.
Does this vary by state? Or do most states have the same statutes on the books regarding negligence? I thought criminal negligence was a criminal offense; how does this apply to civil court?

This is why common law and modern law in general is such a crock of bullshit. It's supposed to serve the populous, but an average person has no little or no chance of understanding the law as the courts would.
 

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Ski resort protections in California are not nearly as good to the resorts as they are in Colorado. From what I've read, most of the coastal states are this way. So if it does go to court as stated, it's a real crapshoot for Vail resorts.

The reality is the people who caused these accidents don't have any money, so by relation the plaintiff is trying to cash in on deep pockets. Total BS and I hope these get tossed.
 

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My fear is that if they end up loosing the lawsuits they will have to make some "changes" to show they are trying to fix the problem. Expect a whole bunch on new policies and the speed nazis in yellow jackets to be out in full force and have more power to take passes then ever. Everyone looses on the deal.
 

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I doubt it will mean any changes in Colorado. Resorts are well protected here. That lawsuit would be DOA in the Colorado legal system. It could mean changes for California, but expect the same old VR bullshit in Colorado.
 

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It makes me sick what people sue over and get away with these days. “in effect, Heavenly itself crashed into Elly,” what the hell is this shit?! Whatever happen to personal resposiblity, accidents happen, thats why they are acccidents. Snowboarding and sking is dangerous, you take the risk of injury or death every time you get on the lift, you make that choice, nobody forces you too.
 

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This is just gestapo tactics. The lawyer is trying to get as much publicity as he can and make as big of a splash as he can to try to scare the resort into settling. From the facts mentioned in the articles, he will lose in court. There really is no liability on the part of the Resort and any competent lawyer could prove that to the jury. The instructor was not on duty and there is no evidence that the resort has encouraged her skiing behavior.

The lawyer is just taking the plaintiff's money, with the dream of the resort settling this for $10-20k as opposed to risk a jury.
 

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This is just gestapo tactics. The lawyer is trying to get as much publicity as he can and make as big of a splash as he can to try to scare the resort into settling. From the facts mentioned in the articles, he will lose in court. There really is no liability on the part of the Resort and any competent lawyer could prove that to the jury. The instructor was not on duty and there is no evidence that the resort has encouraged her skiing behavior.

The lawyer is just taking the plaintiff's money, with the dream of the resort settling this for $10-20k as opposed to risk a jury.
The law is pretty well settled in this area, the way it was described there is no liability for the resort. Every pass/ticket nowadays has a provision on it expressly assuming the risk of on-mountain injuries. And these have been held valid again and again in state courts. This thing won't ever see a jury. Vail might throw out a token settlement, basically saying "we'd rather pay you $5,000 and make this disappear than pay our lawyers $10,000 to conduct discovery and write a summary judgment motion" or they will offer a settlement for "drop the suit and we won't request sanctions for your merit-less lawsuit."
Exactly like you said, most likely the plaintiff's lawyers are pieces of shit who fill the client's heads with visions of a big pay out, take an hourly fee (probably with retainer money up front) for their services, and then lose the case but still come out a couple thou ahead in attorney fees.
 

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Disclaimer: this relates more to Canadian law, but since both Cdn and US law are based on British Common Law, there is probably a fair bit of similarity.

First, you can sue anyone at any time for anything. Doesn't mean you'll win.

Second, you can write anything you want into an indemnifying contract. Doesn't mean it'll protect you in court. The idea of these indemnities is to spell out to the user the risks associated with doing whatever. But the vendor cannot completely protect themselves from damage caused by them not doing their job. There's a basic implied promise of compentency when you hang up your shingle as a plumber or whatever. If you do such a shitty job that the pipes pop out the first time the water's turned on, no indemnity is going to protect you. That's not to say your victim will automatically win, but they won't automatically lose either.

The question in this case is: did the resort fail in what would normally be expected of them when operating as a resort? Can the victims make a case that they should reasonably be able to expect to not be run into by snowboarders? I think we can agree that the answer is a resounding "fuck no!". The nature of the sport is such that that is a reasonably predictable risk -- and more importantly is one that no resort could eliminate by any reasonable means.

My opinion, this is a big-pockets lawsuit. Settle with us and we'll go away. Unfortunately too many companies make the short-term decision to do just that, thereby encouraging yet more spurious lawsuits.
 

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Second, you can write anything you want into an indemnifying contract. Doesn't mean it'll protect you in court.
Yeah, same in us law. I realized my earlier post might have made it look like i was saying that the provision was iron clad. It's definitely not. There was a Utah case a few years back where a guy skiied off trail because it wasn't marked and then his a wall or a ditch or something that the resort built and the supreme court said a release couldn't protect the resort from a suit.
What I meant was in cases where the injury was a result of the inherent risks of skiing, of which accidental collisions have been held to be, then releases have been held sufficient to inform skiers of their assumption of these risks.
More than likely this is the last we'll hear about this case. But who knows. That's just my opinion and I'm certainly no expert on personal injury law. Maybe this lawyer knows something that everyone else doesn't (unlikely, but perhaps).
 
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