Ski Accident Victim Can Sue Camelback For Reckless Conduct

Posted on: August 16th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

On July 18, 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that it is illegal for defendants in PA to deny a victim the right to receive a personal injury verdict due to reckless or intentional conduct on the part of the defendants and/or their employees.  In December of 2003, a woman was snow tubing at the Camelback Ski Resort in Monroe County.

The Poconos personal injury victim sustained serious leg injuries when she was struck by another snow tube that was sent down the ski slope in direct violation of the ski resort’s guidelines.  Litigation took place in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas, as well as the Pennsylvania Superior Court regarding the legal impact a signed release had on the plaintiff’s claims.

The PA Supreme Court ruled that the negligent employee was entitled to legal protection by the terms of the release even though the release only listed Camelback Ski Corp. as a releasee.  The Court held that a corporation can only act thru its employees and the intent of the release was to protect the employees acting within the scope of their employment.

In terms of reckless conduct, the PA Supreme Court ruled that it is different from ordinary negligence since it requires conscious action or inaction which creates a substantial risk of harm to others.  To give individuals or businesses a free pass on reckless or intentional conduct would remove any incentive for parties to act with even a minimal standard of care and thus violate public policy.  Tayar v. Camelback, et al., (J-50-2011) Pa. 2012.