Another Bogus Law Suit? -- Okemo Sued By Kosher Ski Tours -- Ski Rex Says...

For those that have been fans of Ski Rex Media for some time now, you know that I am not a fan of lawsuits against ski areas that are bogus, or more accurately, lawsuits that I consider to be nothing more than a person looking to get a payday from a ski mountain.

I have done a few news stories about ski area and resort lawsuits, most of which center around liability. There are those that have sued a ski mountain claiming it was the mountain that was at fault, perhaps through negligence, poor operation, or similar, for an injury or death. It's likely that you know some examples of this as we see them every year.

Personally, I am even more annoyed when the court system and those who work within that system, including jurors, sides against the mountain when it's obvious that it was the person that brought the lawsuit is the one at fault.

Now, you'd be right to question me saying that. Who am I say to say that the system was wrong? I'm not a lawyer, judge, an investigator, or anyone else that is part of the system, nor have I ever served on a jury. It's very possible that I might not know what I am talking about, which I always admit upfront. I've never been afraid of being wrong. Besides that, when I do say these things, they are only my opinion.

With that said, there have been some of these cases that just from reading the story in the paper or online, one knows that person who brought the lawsuit is actually at fault. Also, when a lawsuit calls for settlements of millions of dollars, we know that the person is just looking for a payday. Yes, I know that these lawsuits state that the settlement amount is to cover medical costs, lost wages, and such, but it's likely those things would be covered by less than millions of dollars. 

That example, however, is for injury and liability, which is not the type of lawsuit I am going to be talking about here. No, this one is for breach of contract. Nobody got hurt in this case, it's just one business saying that another business isn't playing by the rules. But, one could say that the company bringing the lawsuit is still just looking for a payoff and looking to not take responsibility for their own actions or inactions, as the case may be.

So, with that, let's get to the story.

I found this story while going through the morning news. The specific story I read was on the Rockland County Business Journal website, but there are articles written for other news outlets, as well. You could do a quick search online to find the story, but I have the one I read linked just below.

Kosher Ski Tours Of Suffern Sues Okemo Mountain Resort | Rockland County Business Journal

LEGAL NEWS A Rockland-based tour operator that focuses on serving Orthodox Jewish vacationers and skiers has sued a Vermont resort for allegedly breaching a contract for nearly 500 rooms for a four-night stay during Hanukkah. The suit, originally filed in Rockland County but moved to the U.S.

For those that don't feel like reading the article, the short version is that a ski tour company from New York, Kosher Ski Tours, is suing Okemo Mountain Resort for a breach of contract. Specifically, the lawsuit states that Okemo canceled a group lodging agreement, citing issues with COVID-19, though the ski tour company says that's false.

Now, I don't know all that much about the company that is suing Okemo. I hadn't heard of the company until this morning. I can say, though, that even though Okemo is operating, they are doing so while dealing with issues brought on by COVID-19.

While I haven't seen the actual contract, obviously, nor have I seen any of the legal documentation that goes along with this case, I am quite sure that any allegations of Okemo walking away from the Kosher Ski Tours contract in order to charge full price for lodging that was booked at a discount price are false. It seems obvious to me that business has been disrupted due to the pandemic, which was not a factor when the contract was entered into by both parties, which was December of 2019, pre-pandemic.

I feel that any judge in the system should see that and just dismiss the case outright.

To take it one step further, Vermont has one of the strictest travel restrictions in the U.S. right now. Again, this wasn't the case a year ago but is very much the case right now. It's almost ridiculous that the tour company thinks it can still do business here with the two-week mandatory quarantine, or even with the one week quarantine after a negative test.

Just so it's noted, the travel restrictions are not anywhere to be found on the tour company's website. Though the restrictions may be noted later on in the booking process, which I did not go through, the website itself, or the main pages, do not make any mention of Vermont's travel restrictions. 

The travel restrictions, combined with the limited capacities that Vermont lodging establishments must adhere to, also not mentioned on the tour company's website, seems to hurt the case that Okemo was fibbing about COVID-19 being an issue. It clearly is. Which, at least to me, makes this another lawsuit in which someone doesn't want to take responsibility for their own actions or inactions. In this case, the tour company doesn't want to eat the loss of business even though that business really can't be done. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's time to stop suing ski areas and resorts just because it looks as if they have money to burn. Some of them do, sure. But still, that doesn't make it right to sue them just so one can get a payoff, especially when that same person is trying to not take a little responsibility for themselves.

I guess we'll have to wait to see what the court system does about this case. If it's just getting underway now, it'll be a while before there is a result in any way. I still think this one is kind of bogus, too. But, that's me, though I am sure there are those out there, even Vail haters that will agree with me.

Oh, just so it's said, I think it also hurts the plaintiff's case that their website still shows Okemo as a partner. They can't be that broken up about business dealings if they are still willing to do business. Now, that could just be timing. As I said, the legal process seems to be just starting, so maybe their web people haven't sorted out the site yet. But then again, who really knows? I'll tell you this, Okemo and Vail won't be doing business with the tour company after this.

In any case, this is only my opinion and it's based a lot on my personal feelings about business dealings, self-responsibility, the court system, and Vermont. Whether I am right or wrong will only be determined over time. Do you think I'm right? Do you think I'm wrong? Do you think I'm crazy? Please, tell me what you think. I do love the fan interaction.

Thank you for reading.


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