Nelson County Circuit Court, Virginia, 2003
Luther Yopp, Investigator
Rosalyn Hughes, Paralegal
Sherri Wells, Legal Secretary
Our client was an experienced skier. She was enjoying a day of skiing at the Wintergreen Ski Resort. While on the expert ski slope, she went to board the ski lift with a friend. While waiting for the ski lift chair to come up behind her, Wintergreen's employees permitted a snowboarder to attempt to join our client and her friend on the three-chair ski lift. The chair lift struck the snowboarder and our client was then struck by the snowboarder and ski lift. As a result, our client suffered a tear of her anterior prussic ligament in her knee and required surgery to repair the same. Fortunately, she only lost approximately two weeks from work and has had a full recovery with very few residual problems.
Key Legal Strategy:
Wintergreen Ski Resort aggressively defended the case attempting to blame our client and relied on the defense of assumption of risk, and the argument that all skiiers assume these risks when skiing. Our client was able to show through the Defendant's own corporate representative that there was no particular risk involved in waiting for the ski lift and the trial judge ultimately did not permit Wintergreen to rely on the defense of assumption of risk.