Colorado Ski Resort Not Liable for Injuries Caused by Negligence
Colorado Ski Resort Not Liable for Injuries Caused by Negligence

A recent ruling in Colorado found that a ski resort was not liable for injuries suffered by a doctor who was seriously injured by a ski lift. The injury occurred at Keystone Ski School in March 2015. The victim, Dr. Teresa Brigance, was injured while taking a beginner skiing class. According to Brigance’s attorney, Joseph Bloch, the ski instructor was not certified and had not passed the course required to teach the class.

While on the ski lift, Brigance’s boot became wedged beneath the seat in the unloading area. Instead of stopping the lift, the lift operator only slowed it down. The failure to stop the lift caused Brigance to suffer a comminuted spiral fracture to her femur. The injury required two surgeries, and her medical bills amounted to $238,399. Dr. Brigance will have difficulty walking for the rest of her life. This will affect her ability to perform her job as an orthodontist.

Court Says Ski Resort Waivers are Enforceable

The ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals essentially offers Colorado ski resorts immunity if someone is injured or killed on their premises. This applies even if the injury resulted from negligence. The court ruled that the waiver signed by everyone skiing at Vail Summit Resorts, Inc. is enforceable, and the company should not be held liable for injuries, even those caused by negligence.

Ski Reports Not Required to Report Injuries

Currently, ski areas are only required to report deaths, according to Bloch. However, he says, walk into the hospital in Vail and you’ll see plenty of people who have been injured skiing—from broken legs to head injuries. The ski areas are likely aware of where and when those injuries are most likely to occur. Making that information available could help the public be more aware of safety issues at ski resorts. But this information is not published, likely because it might deter some potential customers from taking the risk.

“It is important to understand what rights you are giving up when signing these waivers,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at (760) 777-7777 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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