Ski crash lawsuit stirs backlash |

Ski crash lawsuit stirs backlash

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

People upset over a man who sued an 8-year-old boy and his father over a Colorado ski collision have subjected him and his wife to “an electronic tar and feathering,” their lawyer said.

David Pfahler and Marlene Ambrogio left their Allentown, Pa., home for the holidays because angry people tied up their phone lines with repeated, automated calls since news reports of the lawsuit, attorney Jim Chalat said Monday.

Some sent angry e-mails and calls to Chalat’s Denver law firm, while others called Reader’s Digest, where Pfahler works, and demanded he be fired, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

The couple sued Scott Swimm of Vail and his father, Robb Swimm, in federal court in September. They said Scott, then 7, skied into Pfahler, 60, at Beaver Creek in January.

After the crash, Pfahler underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff and a procedure to repair part of his clavicle, according to the lawsuit.

Chalat said the Colorado Ski Safety Act holds children just as responsible for their actions as adults.

Robb Swim contends his son “tapped” Pfahler’s ski boots and that it was not a violent crash.

Chalat said that after the crash, Pfahler asked the Swimm family to help pay his $35,000 of medical bills but never heard back. The lawsuit seeks compensation for physical therapy, vacation time, nursing and medical services provided by Pfahler’s wife, and other expenses.

The Swimms did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday to respond to Chalat’s comments.

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