PA Ski Accident Victim’s Negligence Claim Denied

Posted on: June 26th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

A 2010 decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed a PA ski accident victim’s negligence case. A family was skiing at the Hidden Valley Resort in Somerset County PA when a woman and her nephew wanted to use a ski lift to return to their condominium. As the 6 year-old boy was being seated, he started to slip off the moving ski lift. The woman tried to help her nephew but she fell and suffered a dislocated shoulder and broken hip.

Her Pennsylvania personal injury attorney filed a lawsuit versus the ski resort business and its employee claiming they were negligent in not stopping the ski lift completely so the young boy could get on safely. The trial court granted the defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment based upon the assumption of the risk legal doctrine set forth in the Pennsylvania Skier’s Responsibility Act. Also supporting the decision was the release language set forth on the back of the season pass paid for by the plaintiff.

The PA Supreme Court affirmed the trial court decision. Falling from a ski lift is an inherent risk of skiing which is contemplated by the PA Skier’s Responsibility Act. The release language did not violate PA public policy. Chepkevich v. Hidden Valley Resort L.P., 2 A.3d 1174 (Pa. 2010)

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