According to ABC News, five skiers were injured at the Tussey Mountain ski resort when a chair lift slid backwards on the cable, hitting the one behind it, which in turn hit the one behind it causing a chain reaction of piled up chairlifts dozens of feet in the air. A total of five chairs were impacted. It took an hour and a half for everyone to be evacuated off the chair lift by local firefighters. The chair lift had allegedly been given a passing safety grade by officials previously, which may show that the resort did not have reason to believe that their lift was dangerous. In many personal injury accidents that occur on a premises, such as a slip and fall, it is necessary to show that the business or property owner had real or constructive knowledge regarding the potential slipping hazard, and still did not take adequate actions to prevent a slip and fall from happening. However, even when an accident such as the one above occurred where the ski resort did not have knowledge of a danger to their invitees, there are still typically avenues to pursue in terms of compensation. For instance, when was the inspection carried out? If it was years ago, or there was some sort of damage or malfunction in between the inspection and the recent incident, the ski resort could still be held liable. Furthermore, if the company that made the chair lift had similar issues with their product, the manufacturer could be held liable.
How Did the Injury Happen?
In a typical year, 40 to 50 people die while skiing or snowboarding, and around 500 are seriously injured, according to the National Ski Areas Association. The most common type of injury at a ski resort is obviously crashing while descending the mountain. There are typically dozens of factors that lead to each crash, which makes it difficult to pin blame on any one party. The majority of the time, ski and snowboard crashes are the result of user error. Excessive speed, taking a turn too sharply, skiing in the trees, going out of the resort boundaries, hitting a mogul at the wrong angle, and sliding out on a patch of ice are all crash instances where the resort and no other party would be held liable for damages. However, in some cases the ski resort could be held liable, such as the following:
- There was a history of multiple crashes and injuries on a specific intersection where two runs came together in a dangerous way;
- Ski resort machinery, infrastructure, or equipment malfunctioned and caused an injury;
- The ski resort did not take proper measures to prevent avalanches; or
- Ski resort staff acted in a negligent or egregious manner.
Call Our Law Offices for Help Today
It is difficult to sue a ski resort because of the inherent risks associated with skiing, which is why you need an experienced lawyer at your side. More typically, an individual person (another skier or snowboarder) can be held liable for damages due to the reckless way in which they were going down the mountain. Whether you were injured by another skier or the ski resort itself, call a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer today with the Law Offices of Michael T. van der Veen.