If you’re looking for one of the reasons why lift ticket prices are skyrocketing, you can thank lawsuits. While not skiing-related, Mt. Hood Meadows paid a $10.5 million settlement to a mountain biker that was severely injured at their ski resort and decided to close their biking trails for the foreseeable future. Mt. Bachelor was just sued for a death of a nine-year-old skier on their mountain and has just introduced cheaper tickets for guests who sign liability waivers. The legal liability ski resorts carry has become murky in Oregon, and it looks like it could be spreading nationwide.
The Finger Lake Times reports that the mother of a teenager based around Syracuse has filed a legal complaint against Bristol Mountain in New York. The fifteen-year-old teenager died on the mountain’s terrain park in February. The lawsuit alleges that Troser Management, which runs Bristol, was negligent in their terrain park maintenance methods.
One of the features of the terrain park was a jump that led to a landing area. When the teenager was at the terrain park on February 21st, the jump was removed, but that spot and the landing area were unmarked. The teenager crashed in the unmarked landing area, resulting in him hitting his head. In spite of him wearing a helmet, he was severely injured and died two days later. There’s been no word if the skier scoped out the terrain park before encountering the hazard. A dollar amount for damages was not listed in the lawsuit.
These situations are pretty wild to me. There are broad liability statements on each pass and lift ticket, and we know what we’re getting ourselves into out there. It’s a dangerous sport, but this can be mitigated by scoping out the terrain and being thoughtful when you’re shredding. These lawsuits are concerning to me because we’re seeing these lawsuits become more successful, which will make the sport more expensive. On the other hand, it wasn’t smart for the terrain park crew to not mark the jump, so we’ll how liable the ski area is for that kind of mistake.
Image Credits: Bristol Mountain