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For the Legal Minded...Interesting Case On Ski Area Liability - Page 2

post #31 of 41
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
You're right: the opinion consistently refers to it as a "hydrant." I pictured a gun, because of the nozzle and the fact it was 5-6 feet tall, but actually I'm not sure exactly what it was. Anyway, it was metal and pretty big.

This is probably a purely academic point, but a key (it seems to me) thing to note is that reasonableness is not the liability standard for the ski area. If it were, it would be (or would at least be close to) a garden-variety negligence standard. The "primary assumption of risk" theory holds the ski area to a lower duty.

While, at least in theory, it might not make a huge difference in many cases, the practical result would, I think, be significantly different if the ski areas were held to a plain old negligence test. It would be harder for a ski area to win on summary judgment, which would mean it would be easier to demand and get a settlement for about any colorable claim. The bottom line would be higher liability insurance premiums and presumably some combination of somewhat higher lift ticket prices and fewer ski areas.

Also worth noting: the case referred to is a California-law case. Other states may differ. In particular, most states with significant ski industries have a statute on the subject, but California doesn't. So far as I can tell, the common law in California, as described in the opinion above, is pretty similar to what's in the statutes, though.
Its not that ski areas are held to a "lower duty", its that in the recreational sports context, "no duty" is owed to prevent or warn of risks inherent in the activity. Big difference.

Also...in Yuki's case; even under the primary assumption of the risk model; an obstacle in the finish area of a race, where the establised rules prohibit the same, might well not be a risk inherent in the activity, and if it caused injury, there could still be liability.
post #32 of 41
Originally Posted by Yuki
Please go back to school ... old, new or whatever and review the origins of tort law.
"Origins of" or "Abuse of"? Or am I totally missing your meaning?
post #33 of 41
Originally Posted by GregGaspar
If we only had video....

Someday--I bet all slopes have video, or at least dangerous areas, for just this reason. Video has all but stopped Grocery Slip and Fall fraud--for those stores who use it.
I'm starting to think skiers are divided into two camps:
  • Them: Those who want or don't mind cops and maybe even video (?!!) on the mountain
  • Us: Those who understand and appreciate the beauty of an outdoor sport practiced while not under surveillance.
post #34 of 41
Just stay north of the border. Why worry about US or us down here. We will or will not survive sans "Canadian" intervention.

Tell Gus Hall, Yuki sends his best.
post #35 of 41
Originally Posted by Yuki

Tell Gus Hall, Yuki sends his best.
I think that would involve a seance.

(post 666)
post #36 of 41
That would be one way.
post #37 of 41
Old School----YYour exactly right, but as in most things people enjoy, some folks got to get in and mess things up. That ultimately leads to regulation and rules.

Think of every facet of life---someone found joy, others tried to capitalize on it and then the fun begins to go away. Taken from another perspective, someone else might say "now more people can enjoy it" because of the changes.

Airline travel---now we have security gates.
Internet---bosses checking your email.
Phone--Advertisers calling at dinner time.
Skiing--escalators at Beaver Creek.
post #38 of 41
Originally Posted by Yuki
Just stay north of the border. Why worry about US or us down here. We will or will not survive sans "Canadian" intervention.

Tell Gus Hall, Yuki sends his best.
Yukky, you fail to understand that if you aren't American you can't just "not worry" about the US, and what goes on there.

I don't blame you for not understanding that, there's no likely way you could, but I'll try to help:
non-Americans have American culture crammed down their throats almost every moment of the day.
Your reference to "intervention" makes me think you might know that.

But, just imagine what it would be like if you woke up tommorow and...
  • most of what is on TV ads and programs is set in Canada and full Canadian references,
  • Canadian Tire stores are putting the Mom&Pop stores out of business,
  • MacLean's magazine is about to put out their "Sexiest People" issue,
  • people are talking about that Tim Horton's ad from halftime at the Grey Cup,
  • Canada forces you to comply with NAFTA but doesn't do it themselves,
  • Canada wants your name in its government database because on your flight from Yukkytown to Snakeballs, Idaho will momentarily involve Canadian airspace,
  • Huge Canadian publishing companies offer big bonuses to sales staff to get as many American textbooks into the Canadian educational system as possible
  • under pressure from Canadian investors major league sports divisions are renamed so as to be more marketable to Canadians
  • etc etc etc
Anyone can pick any number of things to illustrate the same point, but as an American living in the US you'd never have occasion to know. That's just how it is.

BTW, your Gus Hall reference - it kind of makes you look a tad outdated, don't you think?
post #39 of 41
Seems you know who I was refering to OldSchool.

Not debating for a second that Canada gets the short end of the stick especially in some of the recent lumber deals.

Any regulation get your knickers all tight. Spend you time fighting the "Big Brother" that you can change, like the RCMP "undercover" and "armed operatives" on Canadian ski slopes?

PS .... Can I start calling you "OldFool" on open forum?
post #40 of 41
I have personal experience with the act of hitting a snowgun. My son, then 15, got distracted during the run out from some race team speed training and hit one of the snow guns in the middle of a trail at about 30+ mph. The snow gun was padded on three sides. Unfortunately, the ski area (Utah) chooses to not expend any additional labor to insure that the unpadded sides of their snowguns are turned to be on the downhill side of the mountain, thereby increasing the chance of injury.

My son was very lucky. His impact caused the blunt end of a T-handle to stab his thigh. He was lucky in that he fell in such a manner that the handle, which imbedded all the way down to the femur, ripped along the outside of his leg, therby missing the his femoral artery. Also, one of his race coaches, a fomer ski patroller and his girlfriend, a resistered nurse, were about 50 yards away when it happened. They were able to control the bleeding until the patrol arrived.

My comment along the lines of this thread is that the ski area made no efforts to correct the dangerous situation because they are not liable. My interaction with mountain management after the accident was always one of "what can we do to make the mountain safer" and never one of "I'm going to sue you". My son did not pay attention to where he was going so the accident was his fault. However, as someone else mentioned, the shame is the extent of the injury.

This ski area chose to place many of there snow guns in the middle of trails to save money. They could at least take effort to pad them adequately so to minimize injuries when impacts do happen. Skiers lose control, catch edges, etc. and hitting an uppadded object usually causes more damage than hitting a padded one. I wish we could allow a little logic in our liability laws and cases and I wish idiots who harm themselves by their own actions would not sue. Maybe then sanity would return and we could prevent some future injuries.

By the way, the injury ended my son's potentially promising racing career but he recovered enough to ski again and is right now in US Marine Corps boot camp. SEMPER FI and THINK SNOW.
post #41 of 41
Originally Posted by hep4186
I have personal experience with the act of hitting a snowgun. My son, then 15, got distracted...

My son was very lucky....

.... and his girlfriend, a resistered nurse....
Wait a minute! Your 15-year old son had a girlfriend who was a registered nurse?!!!!

Explanation, please.
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