Vail Resorts countersues skier
VAIL ” In what is believed to be a first for the resort, Vail has filed a countersuit against a skier who sued after being injured while skiing, The Denver Post reported Sunday.
“It was never a big case, but now they’re coming after her and threatening her with attorney fees,” said Joseph Bloch, the lawyer representing the skier, Julia Parsons, a Vail real estate agent.
Vail is suing Parsons for breach of contract, arguing that in purchasing a season pass she had agreed to waive her right to sue.
The Post said Vail declined comment but confirmed it is the first time the company has filed a countersuit against a skier who was suing the resort as a result of an injury. In court filings, Parsons was accused of skiing out of control, resulting in her collision with a ski bridge rail. State ski law requires skiers and snowboarders to remain in control, the resort’s filing said, indicating that if Parsons’ suit is dismissed the resort would drop its countersuit.
Trial is set for March.
“The crazy part of this is, if this is allowed and you buy a Buddy Pass or any other skier pass … you’ll be exempt for suing for the negligence of the resort or any one of its employees for anything, including death,” Bloch said. Parsons, in court filings, said she cut her knee severely when she hit a metal bracket on the Lionshead Bridge that was jutting out and should have been repaired.
“They want to get immunity from everything, and I mean everything ” to where if they serve you bad food, too bad; if the lift blows up, too bad; if they fail to clear their lift, too bad,” said Jim Chalat, a ski-injury lawyer in Denver who is monitoring the case.
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Under bluebird skies with 160 acres under their boots, hundreds of skiers and snowboarders took to Aspen Mountain for opening day Wednesday.