Black Diamond — Big Liability or Inherent Risk?

Recent ski accidents have raised more questions about ski resort liability following a ski or snowboard accident. Every skier has signed a waiver that says you cannot sue the resort or ski lodge. But despite the waivers, ski resorts have occasionally been sued after severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries causing paraplegia or traumatic brain injuries.

In Connecticut, a young skier was paralyzed from the neck down after skiing off a jump at a resort in New Hartford several years ago. The case is now being tried, and according to reports, witnesses say that the jump did not have signs or barriers that marked the dangers.

Ski Industry Standards Require Resorts to Mark Hazards

Because of the failure to mark the jump or place barriers for skier and snowboarder protection, the New Hartford ski resort may have a tough challenge. The skier, now 19, has faced substantial medical expenses along with the adversity of his paralysis.

Some ski industry experts suggest that ski resorts are already well protected by state laws that favor limited premises liability for ski lodge owners. On the other hand, ski resorts claim that in some states, laws have not evolved with advances in the sport of skiing, such as snowboarding, and improved and safer equipment that make the skier faster, but more likely to be injured in a fall.

Novice skiers can easily find their way on difficult slopes because the slopes are poorly marked and ski resort staff do not winnow out inexperienced skiers on dangerous ski runs. Other accidents can occur on chair lifts, tow ropes and T-bars.

If you were injured at a ski resort or ski lodge in Connecticut, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights and options.