Originally Posted by matmoe3
Good Morning All,
This may be obvious to most, but I am unaware of the answer to who would be responsible here. On a trip 2 weekends ago, a friend was skiing the twilight. He attempted to stop and hit some ice which slid him into a sign on the slopes. Now he was not out of control fast, but this was also not a slow fall. The ski caught on the inside of the 4x4 wood and unfortunately the boot did not come out of the binding. He suffered a torn MCL, broken fibula, elbow and compound fracture of the tibia. I realize it is normally ski at your own risk, but with his bindings at a "Beginner" level and him being told that they should come off (left one came off, right one where leg was broken did not).
It had been brought to my attention that in some cases depending on negligence, this could be a lawsuit. Also, we aren't speaking a million dollar lawsuit.. just curious about medical expenses. Would any of you know if this is even a possible case based on your experience?
Thanks. Let me know if anymore details are needed!
As many others have said, I don't see the liability on the ski area end.
As somebody else noted, the accident paperwork should document the DIN settings. It is possible the binding could be faulty and releasing at a higher setting that the visual indicator reflects, but to prove that you would need to have the binding tested, and after the fact, the ski area probably couldn't even tell you which pair of skis it was, even if they wanted to (and what is their motivation to provide evidence for somebody looking to sue them?).
Demonstrating that the binding is faulty is probably the only argument that would get you anywhere, but almost certainly you lack the evidence.
Finally, we are talking about a boot top tib/fib, right? These are pretty common breaks- I came pretty close to a fib fracture in January. From the scenario you describe, I am not sure the binding is to be faulted- If the victim hooked his ski boot toe around the signpost, he could easily generate enough force to snap tib/fib at the boot top without pressure on the ski. The solid ski boot acts as a fulcrum to snap the leg.
Also, most bindings don't release upwards (Straight upwards) from the toe. Hooking the front of a ski around a sign would mean the binding would need to release this way to provide protection (assuming the ski hit the post square on instead of rotating- which I am assuming because otherwise it would pop out the sides of the toe). So- it could be very possible that the binding functioned EXACTLY as designed- it just wasn't designed to release in this fashion.