Personal Injury -The Case of The Speeding Snowboarder

Date: September 28, 2011
Posted In: DLP Law
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           Sandy was having a good time skiing down a hill after the season’s  first large snowfall when she was suddenly struck by a snowboarder. Sandy would sustain serious personal injury with two broken legs. Witnesses to the incident observed that the snowboarder was coming down the hill at approximately thirty five miles an hour and made no effort to avoid Sandy prior to impact.

            Sandy incurred medical bills of close to $30,000.00 and would end up missing almost one month of work. Through her attorney, Sandy bought a personal injury lawsuit against the snowboarder. The attorney representing the snowboarder stated that Sandy could not pursue a cause of action because the “Skier\’s Responsibility Act” prevents a claim being pursues involving a collision between skiers as a result of ordinary negligence.

ISSUE:          Will Sandy be allowed to go forward with her personal injury lawsuit?

ANSWER:     Yes. While the “Skier\’s Responsibility Act” precludes a claim involving a collision between skiers as a result of ordinary negligence, the Act does not preclude claims against someone who is skiing abnormally recklessly or out of control. Based upon what the witnesses observed in this particular case, Sandy was successful in obtaining a large personal injury judgment against the snowboarder and collected the same.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.