Letter: Eagle-Vail skier’s father protests gag request
Vail CO, Colorado
Before my First Amendment rights are taken away by this bizarre and broken legal system, I would like to take this opportunity to exercise it. Land of the free, right? After reading through the 38-page “gag order” placed on my family, I wanted to do just that … GAG!
There is no doubt that David J. Pfahler is a rare find. I will allow the reader to place Mr. Pfahler into the evolutionary scale themselves. He brought this to our door with sheriff officers serving my son and I this lawsuit. That was and still is his choice. Not mine or Scott’s. The fact that Mr. Pfahler and his legal team didn’t expect this kind of backlash just shows their absence of a conscience. If you have the guts to sue a little boy you should be able to stand up to your critics.
The lawyers for the plaintiff personify what is wrong with the American legal system. This firm, by filing this suit, is trying to lay the ground to destroy skiing/snowboarding as we know it and line their pockets on the way. This is my opinion and guess what everyone, I have a right to it. Unless this judge says I don’t!
Thankfully, I am very confident in my wonderful son Scott. I know him well and am quite sure that even at his young age he understands the concepts of respect and integrity. He has proved to me and others he understands. So, thank you Scott for just being you! You are a hero to me and with you on my side we can take on anything we choose. I spent this holiday defending my boy’s character from this lawsuit. Although unnecessary, it is an easy task because Scott is an exceptional kid. Anyone who knows Scott knows that he is not reckless and respects and cares for his friends and family and anyone else. There are few things in this world that bring me as much joy as going skiing with my family. This man and his lawyers will never take that away!
Many families come to Colorado to teach their 7-year-olds how to ski and safely enjoy snow sports. Do all families visiting now have to beware of and protect themselves from possible litigation if one of their small children is in a ski accident? I am making a stand against this kind of silly blame game. Skiing has many given risks and variables. In fact just about everything is variable and that’s what makes it such great fun. Variable speeds, variable snow conditions, variable degrees of slope, variable numbers of skiers in an area, variable levels of skill, variable types of equipment, and on and on …
If you can’t quite get your mind around the risks on the mountain, then you are not a skier and do not go.
If Scott and I were at the Eagle-Vail driving range hitting golf balls and Scott stepped back into the next player’s space and took a big swing of his club and nailed a guy in the shoulder, I would be glad I was insured and would not argue any claim. I saw what happened on the ski slope. I saw and heard how the plaintiff acted before and after he found out I was Scott’s dad.
The plaintiff’s lawyer wants to compare this to a teenager being in a car accident. It is nothing like that. But, if that teenager is behind a housewife who spills scalding hot coffee in her lap and slams on the brakes causing four accidents, is the teenager to blame? During my years of skiing, I have often seen the downhill skier doing incredibly stupid or reckless things that could cause an uphill skier injury. There is a certain logic to the uphill skier beware, but there are often certain exceptions.
If there was any way to have anticipated and prevented it, I would have done it. I certainly did not want my family to be in the situation it is in now. Depositions, gag orders and my kid paraded through a screwed-up legal process for money. America the beautiful? This may be over for the plaintiffs if they get a check? This man physically, verbally and mentally abused my 7-year-old boy in front of my own eyes. I am like an elephant with this and will never forget or forgive these people involved. They choose to pursue this, not us. But, if you expect us to sit by and let our son be menaced by this jerk and by the system, then you underestimate the love a parent can have for their children. Big mistake! I want Scott and other kids to know that this is wrong. Scott says he doesn’t want this to happen to any other second graders and their families. So we will continue to fight this any way we can. Maybe the Reader’s Digest will pick it up?
P.S. I must not forget to thank the Pfahlers. If it was not for you we would not have had the opportunity to be in contact with so many wonderful, loving and supportive people. The faith in my fellow man that you stripped from me has been restored and then some by a great local, national and international community of skiers and people. Thank you.