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Ski Resort Day In Court -- READ and DEBATE -- "Federal court says waivers are enough to keep ski resorts from being sued over injuries" From The Aspen Times

Credit: Fayerollinson [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
In an article from early January, The Aspen Times reported that a federal appeals court ruled that the waiver on the back of a ticket and the signed ski lesson waiver were enough to keep a ski resort from being sued by a guest.

After reading the article I have to say that I agree with the court's decision and I feel that most other skiers and riders do as well, though I could be wrong about that.

It seems to me that a ski resort has always had a very limited liability when it comes to the sport. The fact is that we all know that skiing, snowboarding, and related sports are very dangerous, even if one is only an inbounds corduroy cruiser. We all know that any time we head up a hill we could get hurt. That's not the fault of anyone except those who choose to take part in those activities, which is part of the court's decision.

There is one point made against the ruling that could be argued. In the original case a woman was trying to sue Vail for injuries she has suffered while skiing. After this court ruled that she couldn't her attorney, Joe Bloch, disagreed with the ruling. As quoted in the article:

“Giving blanket immunity to ski areas for injuries to guests sets a dangerous precedent,” Bloch said. “This should be very concerning to the millions of skiers and snowboarders who frequent Colorado’s resorts every year, as they may have little or no recourse whatsoever if they are injured on the mountain, even with the ski area is negligent.”


I have no legal experience, but this statement seems to miss that very basic business model of a ski resort. At the most basic level a ski resorts function is to provide concessions and sundries at the base of the hill and transportation to the top. That's it. As I see it the ruling pertains to what happens while out on the hill. I don't no think that this ruling sets precedent for legal action needed if someone slips on a spilled soda in the lodge or suffers injury from having to sit on a stopped lift. The ruling, as I see it, pertains to what happens on the snow.

In closing, I think that this is a good ruling. I think it will protect ski resorts from frivolous law suits that will end up hurting the industry. If any readers feel differently, please don't hesitate to voice your opinion so we can talk and debate the ruling. To do so, you will need to read the entire article, which is linked below.


Federal court says waivers are enough to keep ski resorts from being sued over injuries

DENVER - A federal appeals court ruled that skiing is voluntary, not a necessity, and that the waiver on the back of your lift ticket and your ski lesson waiver is all a ski company needs to keep you from suing them if you're injured. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Dr. Teresa...

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