March 1, 2012

Just an hour away from Portland, on Mt. Hood, skiers can enjoy the longest ski season in the country. The next time you head to one of those ski areas, or to a ski resort anywhere else, make a note of the rules for snowboarders. Do they share the runs with skiers? Do skiers have the right-of-way?

We are continuing our discussion from the last post about a skier who suffered a brain injury while skiing when a resort employee on a snowboard crashed into her. The victim has filed a legal action against the resort; she claims the resort is responsible. The resort says the victim should look only to the employee for relief, but the employee has no liability insurance.

It is apparently a common practice for this and other resorts to hire foreign workers for the season. The workers are offered free ski passes and food discounts to make up for the low wages. None of them is covered by the resort’s insurance, and few, if any, have individual policies.

Skiers are supposed to have the right-of-way on downhill runs. The resort in this case has posted signs to that effect, but the plaintiff says that’s not enough. She claims the resort was negligent in its employee training; of all people out there, employees should know the rules.

The victim’s husband tears up when he tells what happened that day. He said he saw “an explosion,” and then looked over at his wife. “She wasn’t moving at all. I thought she was dead.” She was unconscious for a while before the ski patrol arrived.

Source:, “Second injured skier sues Heavenly parent company,” Martha Bellisle, March 4, 2012


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