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US ski resorts seek greater protection from lawsuits

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Although the US is associated with skiers suing for personal injury damages, the reality is that laws usually restrict the exposure of ski resorts.

For instance, the Colorado Ski Safety Act maximises the liability of a resort or lift operator and specifies areas of 'inherent risk' associated with the sport.

Now, because of the increasing use of terrain parks, rails and other relatively novel features, Colorado ski resorts are demanding amendments to the Act. This report from today's Denver Post.

Any comments on what you should, or shouldn't, be allowed to sue for?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
In all cases, you should only be allowed to sue if someone has been willfully negligent......not because they failed to post a warning sign that ice is slippy.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I'd say if a resort was negligent in the area of piste or lift maintainence they shoul be liable to be sued, likewise if they were to construct a terrain park that was inherently dangerous, however if people go off piste or don't have the experience to use a terrain path and injure themselves I don't see why the resort should have to pay
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I think it's only proper that inherent risk is taken into account in all lawsuits. As the article says negligence should be punished, but if I want to jump off cliffs then why should anyone be liable if I mess up the landing?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
This is where it gets interesting. As skiers we're responsible (arguably) for learning how to control our equipment and avoid things. But it's a convention that pylons are padded. And it's often a convention that rocks are marked with crossed poles.

What if a skier is injured by an exposed rock (maybe there's been a sudden thaw) that hasn't been marked?

We pay for lift passes and expect pistes to be controlled places, with a degree of safety and safety markings. But in the old days (you can still see the spirit on the unpatrolled terrain of La Grave) every skier looked out for himself.

Mountains are fertile places for lawyers!
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
For many years, UK motoracing circuits have had to display signs saying "Warning, motorsport is dangerous. All persons attending do so at their own risk" at their entrances, on tickets and within the grounds. This has been pretty effective in keeping the number of lawsuits down. A similar sign for ski resorts would be just as effective there, too.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Well, not really. You can post up any sign but if you admit the public to use a facility you have what's known as a 'duty of care'. You can't simply indemnify yourself (as a ski resort, lift operator etc) from liability if your negligence causes someone an injury.

Well, under British law, anyway.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
David - true. But if, say, a car breaks up on track and a member of the crowd gets injured, they can't hold the operator liable. Likewise, if a thaw occurs and someone hits a suddenly exposed rock, or skis into a clearly visible but unmarked tree, they wouldn't be able to hold the resort liable. Also, that the resort then doesn't have to put up signs saying, "ice is slippery, take care", etc.

It also serves a valuable purpose in reminding people they have a responsibilty for their own safety and should not expect to be compensated if their behaviour is inappropriate.
(eg am sure you're aware of the woman in the states who won compensation because she tried to dry her poodle in the microwave, sued on the grounds the instructions didn't say "don't do it" and won. This sort of case would be effectively prevented.)

You are right, it doesn't prevent "duty of care" cases, but it does help prevent 'frivolous' cases.
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