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Tree well law suit - Page 2

post #31 of 41

My opinion and that is all but. If you have signage and some public education saying, "this is a hazard, one step to take is do not ski without a partner and watch for each other" you have done what you can. It is unreasonable to expect any operator to eliminate all hazard and risk.

 

If people cannot accept that, perhaps it is time for them to take up extreme knitting.

post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott43 View Post
 

This reminds me of the definition of a liberal: someone who believes that every possible activity should be either government regulated or illegal.  :duck:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liberal

 

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservative

 

edjakate urself

post #33 of 41
Quote:


I sense that your sarcasm detector is broken... :D

post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
 

^^^ Agreed.  Not just in this case, but everywhere.  The world gets to be more of a Nanny State every year.

 

Trying to be optimistic here, but there is a slim thread of a chance that this case will be decided in a sane manner, which could help set legal precedent for this kind of nonsense suit at the federal level.

 

Hey, if you don't have hope, you don't have anything!


A few quick observations.

 

I don't know why this case is in federal court because the decision doesn't discuss the basis of federal jurisdiction (something that really pisses off federal appellate courts). While a citizen of state X can sue a citizen of State Y in federal court (diversity jurisdiction), foreign nationals cannot. My best guess is that someone on the plaintiffs' side has dual citizenship with a state other than Montana. The federal court in such a case applies state law. Here it's obviously Montana law. Whether the judge is 100% right or 100% wrong, it won't be binding on Montana state courts, or even other federal courts.

 

Denying summary judgment just means that there is a question of fact, even a small one, that must be decided by a jury. Trial courts are hesitant to grant summary judgment on any close question because an appellate court can just send it back for trial if it finds a question of fact.

 

Although every state may interpret it differently, in general the doctrine of assumption of risk, as applied to skiing, is that the skier assumes all risks inherent in the sport. So, since snow is slippery, ice forms when the temperature falls, trees are hard if you hit them and tend not to move out of your way, etc., and you get injured or worse, you have no right of recovery against the ski area (which doesn't mean you can't sue them anyway). I would think that tree wells would be included in the category of risks inherent in skiing, especially off-piste skiing. You don't have to warn about every conceivable risk. Also, as a general rule, remedial measures taken after the fact, like amending a law or rule to specifically include a risk that wasn't previously mentioned, do not amount to negligence.

 

So why would they sue? Because defendants might settle, just because it might be cheaper than defending it. Happens all the time.

post #35 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping it goes to jury trial and they clearly lose.

And yes, if this were my kid, I'd be heartbroken. I once was an exchange student as well, and caused my parents no end of worry.
post #36 of 41

Poor kid. Terrible tragedy. Especially since he was so far from home.

 

Like the tax code, if we and future generations are to enjoy life more or less as we know it, the legal system must be radically curtailed before it gets worse.

 

We really ought to fix this stuff for our kids.

post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I'm hoping it goes to jury trial and they clearly lose.

And yes, if this were my kid, I'd be heartbroken. I once was an exchange student as well, and caused my parents no end of worry.


Yeah, I mean, let's be clear, it's a terrible, heartbreaking tragedy.  But at the end of the day..

post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott43 View Post
 


Yeah, I mean, let's be clear, it's a terrible, heartbreaking tragedy.  But at the end of the day..


But at the end of the day the kid was clueless and it should not be the resorts problem.  What do the parents want?  The resort to OB all the trees:eek  Skiing is a risky sport.  To sue because $h!t happens, isn't the way to handle a tragedy in my simple world.

post #39 of 41
Thread Starter 
We don't know the kid was "clueless". He was unlucky. He fell into a well just on the edge of a trail on a day with bad visibility. No one saw him in time. End of story. Could happen to anyone skiing either alone or with friends who are oblivious/too far off/just looking the other way. No fault of the victim, no fault of the resort. Bad luck.
post #40 of 41

A case can be filed in either Federal or State  court. It is my experience that you have a better chance of a summary motion being upheld in Federal court so there is a  chance the resort had this one removed to Federal court. You can do this if the plaintiff lives outside the jurisdictional state. I have found that judges will try and identify what is not included in a statute as opposed  to what language is contained in it. This case will not doubt be decided in court by a jury.

    One scary aspect is that some plaintiffs have filed outside the states jurisdiction on the grounds that businesses advertise on the internet and therefore are doing business in other jurisdictions. This has been upheld on a few instances.             

post #41 of 41
Thread Starter 
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