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Ski Rental Lawsuit at Four Seasons

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
While I'm sorry she got hurt, I wonder what "Marital Duties" Mrs. Cohn can't perform that are "greatly impairing" Mr. & Mrs. Cohn enjoyment.



From the Jackson Hole News & Guide
March 2, 2012

A New York couple are suing Four Seasons Resort for negligence, alleging a ski fall and failed rental binding left the woman unable to perform “marital duties.”

The suit, filed in 9th District Court on Monday, alleges a ski binding on equipment rented from the resort’s ski shop failed to release during a fall.

Four Seasons representatives hadn’t yet been notified of the suit Thursday, resort spokeswoman Michelle Duncan said. The suit also names eight affiliated companies.

Lawrence and Ann Cohn were visiting the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole in Teton Village in 2008, according to court documents. During that visit, the Cohns rented skis, boots and bindings from the resort’s ski shop, the suit alleges.

While skiing, Ann Cohn’s left ski binding “inexplicably” failed to release during a “routine fall on an easy run,” according to the complaint.

Cohn dislocated her knee and broke two bones in her leg, including her tibia, which broke into 40 pieces, the suit alleges.

The Cohns claim the injury was a direct result of Four Seasons’ negligence from failing to provide safe and properly adjusted equipment.

“Because plaintiff was skiing at such a low rate of speed on an easy run, the injuries she suffered could not have been caused in the absence of the negligence of the defendants,” the complaint reads.

Though it has been four years since the accident, Ann Cohn has “chronic pain, weakness and limited range of motion,” the suit alleges.

Also due to the injury, Ann Cohn cannot perform “necessary family and marital duties now and in the future” for Lawrence Cohn, the suit alleges. As a result, Lawrence Cohn “has been deprived of the services, society, consortium and companionship of his wife,” greatly impairing the couple’s enjoyment, according to the suit.

The Cohns are asking a judge to award financial damages in an amount to be decided at trial. The complaint asks that these damages include past and future medical expenses resulting from Ann Cohn’s injury and loss of earning capacity.
post #2 of 62

Motion to summarily dismiss this frivolous lawsuit.  I presume since this happened 4-years ago, they forgot what brand equipment they were using, or they may have enjoined the ski and binding manufacturers.  What the Cohns need is a divorce, cause this suit is going nowhere.

post #3 of 62

I'm guessing going for walks, cooking, cleaning, seks....what other marital duties are there?

post #4 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks View Post

While I'm sorry she got hurt, I wonder what "Marital Duties" Mrs. Cohn can't perform that are "greatly impairing" Mr. & Mrs. Cohn enjoyment.



Well it's gotta be one or the other.  Or maybe both!

 

post #5 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks View Post

Cohn dislocated her knee and broke two bones in her leg, including her tibia, which broke into 40 pieces, the suit alleges.



 

Holy crap...this exact same injury happened to a gal with us on a ski trip at Breck about 10 years ago.  It was her first run of the trip, she fell on an easy groomer and the doc said her tibia looked like it had been smashed with a hammer.  Freakshow.   It was really sad, months later we're all back home going about our business and she's hobbling around in a cast with a half dozen bolts through her leg.

post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks View Post


Cohn dislocated her knee and broke two bones in her leg, including her tibia, which broke into 40 pieces, the suit alleges.
 


eek.gif

 

Good grief, what are her bones made of, chalk?th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #7 of 62

Could be early stage osteoperosis - when those calcium weak bones break, they can shatter.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post



eek.gif

 

Good grief, what are her bones made of, chalk?th_dunno-1%5B1%5D.gif



 

post #8 of 62

Hope I'm not wrong, but I don't see this one getting very far.  Wonder what took them so long to file?  A long time lawyer shopping perhaps.

post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgiddyup View Post

Hope I'm not wrong, but I don't see this one getting very far.  Wonder what took them so long to file?  A long time lawyer shopping perhaps.


I agree. While I feel sorry for her getting injured I very much doubt that the injury was due to negligence on the resorts part. Unfortunately tragic things happen and it's not always someones fault. Injury is a risk you accept when participating in sports. Next thing you know people are going to be suing resorts for injuries in the park for "incorrectly" built jumps, never mind the fact they were trying to do an inverted trick or something else inherently dangerous. 

 

post #10 of 62

I wonder if this guy will sue?  Sounds like he got EXACTLY what he ordered...

 

 

 

 

Point is, don't eat a bypass burger if your LDL's already off the chart.  Don't go skiing (or anything else high impact) if you are suffering from a calcium deficiency. 


Edited by crgildart - 3/2/12 at 1:20pm
post #11 of 62

While I can not speak to the law suit issue, I had a friend also in the Tetons, break her tib/fib into 36 pieces in a fairly low speed fall!!! She does not have osteoporosis, but the binding did not release and the twisting led to this. A similar fall happened to a world cup racer a few years ago and he lost his leg...too many pieces.

 

On another note, France actually has a law on the books about spousal duties...being a French law, your first guess as to what those are is 100% correct. I was reading a three page article about this just today. Yes, they do prosecute for failure to execute.

 

Meanwhile, I hope the Four Seasons is not found guilty unless there is real proof of total negligence. WY is a great state, it recognizes the inherent risk in sports such as skiing, and most cases are dismissed! Great place to be an instructor!

post #12 of 62

On the plus side, she doesn't seem to get those headaches she used to always have.wink.gif

post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

.....cause this suit is going nowhere.


Man, I hope you're right, but we all know of cases where idiotic jurors have been hood-winked by smooth-talking attorneys into awarding outrageous sums for absurd claims.

It's why ladders are covered with warning stickers telling buyers not to do obviously stupid things like juggle chain saws while doing hand stands on the top step, and so on, and so on, etc., etc.....

 

 

 

post #14 of 62

Last season, going into an inversion cloud on Grand (clear on the top of Thunder) my buddy broke his clavicle into 5 pieces.

Yesterday, told him he should have sued the inversion.  And wondered why his wife and he hadn't managed to choke on

some chunky pate when they went to listen to the Miller Sisters in the lobby of the Seasons ( i guess they had to play

very quietly so as not to disturb the check in desk).

post #15 of 62
Surprise! Type A stress-cats ski at Jackson and file lawsuits when they didn't get every Type A Need met.

Inevitable result of courting the Luxury Class and treating skiing as "business."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

Motion to summarily dismiss this frivolous lawsuit. I presume since this happened 4-years ago, they forgot what brand equipment they were using, or they may have enjoined the ski and binding manufacturers. What the Cohns need is a divorce, cause this suit is going nowhere.

Shadetree lawyers unite! You do your best when pretending at knowing what you're talking about!

You seem to forget a small thing called "discovery" and the reluctance of 98% of trial judges to summarily dismiss claims before discovery. But keep pretending!
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post


Man, I hope you're right, but we all know of cases where idiotic jurors have been hood-winked by smooth-talking attorneys into awarding outrageous sums for absurd claims.

It's why ladders are covered with warning stickers telling buyers not to do obviously stupid things like juggle chain saws while doing hand stands on the top step, and so on, and so on, etc., etc.....

 

 

 



So you think the Four Seasons won't be able to hire its own "smooth-talking" lawyer.  In all likelihood, they will have better counsel than the plaintiff.  I admit this sounds fishy (especially waiting 4 years to file the suit) but the reality is that none of us knows enough about the facts to be able to offer any meaningful opinion.  You cannot assess the merits of a lawsuit based on press accounts.

post #17 of 62


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzledVeteran View Post

Surprise! Type A stress-cats ski at Jackson and file lawsuits when they didn't get every Type A Need met.
Inevitable result of courting the Luxury Class and treating skiing as "business."
Shadetree lawyers unite! You do your best when pretending at knowing what you're talking about!
You seem to forget a small thing called "discovery" and the reluctance of 98% of trial judges to summarily dismiss claims before discovery. But keep pretending!


Discovery item #1: the rental contract with waiver terms she signed.

 

 

 

 

post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoWYmonkey View Post

While I can not speak to the law suit issue, I had a friend also in the Tetons, break her tib/fib into 36 pieces in a fairly low speed fall!!! She does not have osteoporosis, but the binding did not release and the twisting led to this.

 

It's a fact that old people have brittle bones.  We can shatter a hip in to 200 pieces slipping off the curb.  I'm not going to sue the resort if I get hurt falling all by myself.  And, I'll still find a way to get laid in a full body cast.

Quote:


Quote:Originally Posted by snoWYmonkey View Post
 

A similar fall happened to a world cup racer a few years ago and he lost his leg...too many pieces.

 

You're really going to compare the results from a rental binding release (usually set conservatively low) to Lanzinger's crash eek.gifat high speed in bindings that probably topped out at 30 DIN?  Really?

post #19 of 62

A slow twisting fall has always been recognized as the most dangerous type of fall (involving just going down). To say that that type of fall shouldn't be a problem is  nonono2.gif  ignorant.  The lower forces do not always trigger the binding mechanism. Even at low speeds, the stresses on the body, due to the leverage of the ski, are large. and low speeds would be large forces in a lab bench test. 

Since this is common knowledge, but not necessarily documented, I wonder if the point will be discussed?


bold mine

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks View Post

While I'm sorry she got hurt, I wonder what "Marital Duties" Mrs. Cohn can't perform that are "greatly impairing" Mr. & Mrs. Cohn enjoyment.
From the Jackson Hole News & Guide
March 2, 2012
A New York couple are suing Four Seasons Resort for negligence, alleging a ski fall and failed rental binding left the woman unable to perform “marital duties.”
The suit, filed in 9th District Court on Monday, alleges a ski binding on equipment rented from the resort’s ski shop failed to release during a fall.
Four Seasons representatives hadn’t yet been notified of the suit Thursday, resort spokeswoman Michelle Duncan said. The suit also names eight affiliated companies.
Lawrence and Ann Cohn were visiting the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole in Teton Village in 2008, according to court documents. During that visit, the Cohns rented skis, boots and bindings from the resort’s ski shop, the suit alleges.
While skiing, Ann Cohn’s left ski binding “inexplicably” failed to release during a “routine fall on an easy run,” according to the complaint.
Cohn dislocated her knee and broke two bones in her leg, including her tibia, which broke into 40 pieces, the suit alleges.
The Cohns claim the injury was a direct result of Four Seasons’ negligence from failing to provide safe and properly adjusted equipment.
“Because plaintiff was skiing at such a low rate of speed on an easy run, the injuries she suffered could not have been caused in the absence of the negligence of the defendants,” the complaint reads.
Though it has been four years since the accident, Ann Cohn has “chronic pain, weakness and limited range of motion,” the suit alleges.
Also due to the injury, Ann Cohn cannot perform “necessary family and marital duties now and in the future” for Lawrence Cohn, the suit alleges. As a result, Lawrence Cohn “has been deprived of the services, society, consortium and companionship of his wife,” greatly impairing the couple’s enjoyment, according to the suit.
The Cohns are asking a judge to award financial damages in an amount to be decided at trial. The complaint asks that these damages include past and future medical expenses resulting from Ann Cohn’s injury and loss of earning capacity.


 

post #20 of 62

I would think waiting four years (where are those skis and bindings for proof?) would be problematic.

 

post #21 of 62

Frivolous?  Maybe.  But it will all depend on the jury pool.  If they can get a group of very risk averse people that know nothing about skiing they may get a decision and settlement which the resort will keep appealing in a money war of attrition.  If they have any experienced skiers at all on the jury it won't likely come to that.

post #22 of 62

Perhaps skiing should not be one's first load bearing exercise since running around the schoolyard at recess forty years ago.

post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


 


Discovery item #1: the rental contract with waiver terms she signed.

 

 

 

 


 

I think waivers usually don't mean squat if a business is found to actually be negligent, which is what they're likely going to try (and likely fail) to prove in this case.

 

post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzledVeteran View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

Motion to summarily dismiss this frivolous lawsuit. I presume since this happened 4-years ago, they forgot what brand equipment they were using, or they may have enjoined the ski and binding manufacturers. What the Cohns need is a divorce, cause this suit is going nowhere.

Shadetree lawyers unite! You do your best when pretending at knowing what you're talking about!

You seem to forget a small thing called "discovery" and the reluctance of 98% of trial judges to summarily dismiss claims before discovery. But keep pretending!


Fair enough.  I make no representation that I have even a passing awareness of Wyoming juris prudence, but I know it is really difficult to bring suit for personal injury and losses of the type described in the OP's article thanks to the Wyoming Recreation Safety Act.  The law provides broad protections to Wyoming businesses that are engaged in recreational services and products, and my lay-person awareness is that it is straight-forward in placing the assumption of "inherent risks" upon the persons participating in the sport.

 

Quote:

(a) Any person who takes part in any sport or recreational opportunity assumes the inherent risks in that sport or recreational opportunity, whether those risks are known or unknown, and is legally responsible for any and all damage, injury or death to himself or other persons or property that results from the inherent risks in that sport or recreational opportunity.

 

b) A provider of any sport or recreational opportunity is not required to eliminate, alter or control the inherent risks within the particular sport or recreational opportunity.

 

(c) Actions based upon negligence of the provider wherein the damage, injury or death is not the result of an inherent risk of the sport or recreational opportunity shall be preserved pursuant to W.S. 1-1-109.

 

(d) The assumption of risk provisions in subsections (a) through (c) of this section apply irrespective of the age of the person assuming the risk.

 

I understand the basis of the suit is negligence related to the "inexplicable failure of the skis to release" but that is a tough case to make. We both know this is a common injury, particular where very low to no speed is involved, and especially where the participant may have a health related predisposition to fractures,  Discovery may (if the documents still exist) reveal the rental agreement and settings used on the equipment.  As long as the technician based the settings on a Type I skier of the appropriate weight and BSL, that could be enough propose a dismissal based on the Wyoming Recreation Safety Act. 

 

I am not an attorney and any opinions expressed here should be regarded as non-expert ramblings.  Thanks.

 

post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

A slow twisting fall has always been recognized as the most dangerous type of fall (involving just going down). To say that that type of fall shouldn't be a problem is  nonono2.gif  ignorant.  The lower forces do not always trigger the binding mechanism. Even at low speeds, the stresses on the body, due to the leverage of the ski, are large. and low speeds would be large forces in a lab bench test. 

Since this is common knowledge, but not necessarily documented, I wonder if the point will be discussed?


bold mine



 

  You said it. When I first moved to Utah, my best friend brought his new wife out, a never- ever, and put her in ski school. She did so well that on the third day decided to free ski in the afternoon with one of her schoolmates. We were at Alta, skied on our own and when we came to meet her on a flat green run she just fell over from a standing position- backward twisting fall. Tore MCL and ACL and spent the rest of the vacation seeing doctors in physical therapy .

  Never skied again, never occured to any of us to sue. She took up snowboarding...

 

 

post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abox View Post


 

I think waivers usually don't mean squat if a business is found to actually be negligent, which is what they're likely going to try (and likely fail) to prove in this case.

 


Sure, negligence is the principle to create breach. However, that is what renter selected skier type matched to an industry published DIN chart is for, along with the renter visually confirming the DIN setting on the binding.

Unless the tech was unqualified, set the DIN incorrectly, or knowingly rented faulty equipment, negligence is pretty tough. I have been involved in a non-skiing lawsuit coming up against state statutes expressly designed to protect an industry class (as a plaintiff). The burden will be very high, and the excerpt above is really designed to make an emotional case for a common accident, even if uncommon injury, that is legally bounded in common industry practice.

If the hotel's paperwork is in order, this is purely a public image pressure tactic designed to drive a settlement payment. If this was a small mom and pop rental shop worth little to nothing, this thread would not exist.

The key words in this entire release are 'Four Seasons Hotel'.
post #27 of 62


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post
 

 designed to drive a settlement payment. 

 

This is exactly what I was about to post.
 

 

post #28 of 62

I find the 4 year gap before filing very interesting. Common practice at many rental operations is to replace 1/3 of the rental inventory each year, meaning that the inventory turns over 100% after 3 years. So chances are, the actual equipment the woman was using has since been taken out of rotation, and either thrown out or sold for peanuts. If the hotel's rental records are computerized, there is a decent chance they will still have the rental forms on file. However, if they are only on paper, they may have been trashed by now. So without the actual equipment, and the rental form being iffy, I don't see where they are going to form the evidentiary basis for negligence. I agree that it's more likely a play for a settlement, but I hope the hotel fights it and makes the plaintiffs eat it.

post #29 of 62

So,

I advise all you to watch the "Hot Coffee" movie if you haven't.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Coffee_(film)

 

It really reveals the backstory of some of these famous tort cases, and does show that the system we have is the best solution we can come up, and it is not as lame or asinine as you would think.  

It's really a reductive when you form your opinion about a long court case from the1sentence headline that the spindoctors from one side or the other made up and media blitzed, or the media themselves concocted to grab your attention by angering you, where 12people had to sit through and listen to the whole thing, and came to a 75% majority on it (and survived all the appeals and all that other legal mumbo jumbo).  

As some people mentioned above, both sides have lawyers.   I was on a jury once, and the judge instructed us plainly, he's the referee, it's up for these lawyers to convince you of the case in words we can understand.  If they really suck that bad, it's their fault for being a bad lawyer, not the system or an unfair game.  This includes their picking the jury.

While it's commom psychology to think you're smart and everyone else is dumb, but in reality you're not going to end up with all 12idiots in there; most if not all of them are just going to be average people.  If you ended up with 12idiots, again that's the fault of the lawyer for not playing well and kicking off the idiots.

 

 

To reduce the McDonald's story, would it change your mind if you knew McDonald's had a whole book of previous coffee injuries, some equally extremely severe; and they did pay off those other injuries; yet did nothing at all to change their policy to prevent further injuries.  

And if you knew that multimillion dollar judgement was reached as calculation of just a few days of McDonald's coffee sales?  Does that not sound fair as a slap on the wrist? (and the lady who got injured didn't get anything near that judgement). 

post #30 of 62

Not disagreeing with your general point; however, there is one huge variable here that makes our justice system unfair: MONEY.  People who have it can afford much better lawyers, while there are some pretty crappy / incompetent public defenders out there.  Just sayin'...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

As some people mentioned above, both sides have lawyers.   I was on a jury once, and the judge instructed us plainly, he's the referee, it's up for these lawyers to convince you of the case in words we can understand.  If they really suck that bad, it's their fault for being a bad lawyer, not the system or an unfair game.  This includes their picking the jury.

While it's commom psychology to think you're smart and everyone else is dumb, but in reality you're not going to end up with all 12idiots in there; most if not all of them are just going to be average people.  If you ended up with 12idiots, again that's the fault of the lawyer for not playing well and kicking off the idiots.



 

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