Vail Resorts drops countersuit vs. skier
VAIL ” Vail Resorts has agreed to drop its countersuit against Julia Parsons, a local skier who sued the company after she allegedly slashed her knee on the old Lionshead skier bridge in 2004.
Parsons’ claims of negligence and liability were dismissed last week by District Judge R. Thomas Moorhead.
In the settlement, Vail Resorts agreed not to seek attorney’s fees and costs from Parsons. Parsons agreed not to appeal any issues in the case.
Joe Bloch, Parsons’ attorney, said Parsons wanted to appeal the rulings in the case but was facing too much potential liability in the countersuit.
Bloch said Vail Resorts was seeking more than $101,000 in attorney fees and costs.
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The case sets a precedent in Eagle County that unless there is gross negligence, injured skiers who signed the waiver can’t bring a suit against the ski company, Bloch said.
“They can injure you or one of your family members, and it can be their fault, and you have no ability for any recourse,” he said.
In court filings, Vail Resorts’ attorneys said the company offered to pay Parsons’ expenses after the alleged incident, but she did not accept and instead filed suit.
Bloch said Parsons didn’t accept that offer because she was entitled to money for disfigurement and pain and suffering.
Parsons, 46, said she sustained a 21⁄2-inch gash in her knee when she skied across the old Lionshead Bridge in February 2004 and that she needed three layers of stitches to close the wound.
She claimed that she hit a bent metal bracket that protruded from the bridge, which was torn down after that ski season and replaced with a wider bridge. Vail Resorts has questioned Parsons’ account of how she was injured.
Bill Jensen, chief operating officer for Vail Mountain, couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or firstname.lastname@example.org.