Letters: Vail ski lawsuit has no merit | VailDaily.com

Letters: Vail ski lawsuit has no merit

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

The lawsuit against 8-year-old Scott Swimm is deeply troubling to me, both as a parent of (once) young skiers and as an ordinary citizen. The writers for the TV show “Boston Legal” could not come up with a scenario as outrageous as this case.

But, now, let’s look at the serious side of this case. The Colorado Ski Safety Act (which bars suits against ski area operators) provides as a matter of Colorado state law that skiing is an inherently dangerous activity, and one of the inherent dangers (e.g., obstacles) set forth in the law is “other skiers.”

It doesn’t take much of a leap to apply the principals of the Colorado Ski Safety Act in order to defend (and defeat!) an action against a non-negligent private person (Scott Swimm) and, accordingly, it is my humble view that Mr. Pfahler’s lawsuit is an abuse of process.

And just look at the damage done already to this youngster by Mr. Pfahler’s words and actions at the time of the incident; as a result thereof, Scott Swimm no longer wants to go out and ski.

If Vail Resorts is listening, I suggest they file a “friend of the court” brief in defense of this hapless and innocent child, thereby assisting in the process of sending Mr. Pfahler to the dustbin of disingenuous and hollow lawsuits.

Mr. Pfahler’s excesses remind me of the following, written by Judge Learned Hand:

“… that a society so riven that the spirit of moderation is gone, no court can save; that a society where that spirit flourishes, no court need save …”

I trust that the Federal District Court in Denver will heed Judge Hand’s admonition and toss Mr. Pfahler’s suit down the courthouse steps!

David M. Stern


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