Colorado appeals court agrees that ski pass waivers protect resorts from liability in chairlift injuries
A Colorado Court of Appeals panel last week delivered the first state appellate decision affirming the use of waivers to protect ski resorts from lawsuits filed by injured skiers.
Charlotte Redden, who was struck by a chairlift at Loveland ski area in 2017, plans to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. A decision by the state’s highest court would determine if the tiny-print waivers on the back of lift tickets that release resorts from “any and all liability” take precedence over the state’s Ski Safety Act, which assigns some responsibilities for skier and lift safety to resort operators.
Jim Chalat, an attorney who has represented many injured skiers in lawsuits against ski resorts, has railed against ski resort waivers for years and sees the state appeals court ruling last week as rendering the Ski Safety Act “dead letter,” which means it is no longer enforceable.
“Ski resorts no longer have any duties,” he said of the decision handed down on New Year’s Eve. “All they have to do is print a lift ticket with tiny font that says we are not liable for anything and they have no responsibility.”
The 2-1 decision by the three-judge panel agreed with a lower court’s summary judgment in favor of Loveland ski area owner, Clear Creek Skiing Corp., in a case involving Redden’s injury when she got off a chairlift at the ski area in March 2017.
Read more from Jason Blevins, The Colorado Sun.
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