Daily Editorial: Insult and injury
Vail CO, Colorado
As tempting as it may be to pick on middle-aged man for suing a local 8-year-old over a ski collision, it’s probably wise to keep the vitriol to a minimum.
Since news of David Pfahler’s lawsuit against Scott Swimm, Pfhaler and his wife have been subject to angry phone calls and e-mails ” and a few insulting web comments on the Vail Daily’s Web site.
The couple’s lawyer, Jim Chalat, said some angry callers have even phoned Pfahler’s employer to demand he be fired for suing the boy.
We’ve heard from Scott’s father, a witness to the crash, who says his then-7-year-old son merely tapped Pfahler’s boot while skiing. Pfahler’s lawsuit claims, however, that Scott collided with Pfahler on a catwalk on Arrowhead Mountain and injured the man’s shoulder.
If this case ever does make it to court, it will be up to a jury to decide if Pfahler’s injuries ” which the lawsuit says have cost him at least $75,000 ” are legitimate and are the fault of a young boy.
In the meantime, it’s safe to say that the rest of us don’t really know what happened that day. And sending threatening and insulting messages won’t ensure that justice will be served any faster or any more fairly.
Regardless of the merits of this case, it does seem strange that an elementary-school-aged boy could be named in a civil suit.
How the case will play out under the Skier Safety Act is of interest to all adults who ski or snowboard, and especially for those of us who have a children on the hill.
So let’s focus on the issue of skier safety and responsibility. Let’s argue whether a child should be for liable his or her actions on the mountain.
Just leave the childish insults and threatening phone calls out of it.
In the meantime, all of us ” young and old ” should pay more attention while we’re on the slopes.
” Tamara Miller for the Editorial Board