Archive for the ‘Utah’ Category

Hitting the Slopes

November 7, 2007

Berry v. Greater Park City Company (Utah)
(Experienced Skier in Competition Breaks Neck and Suffers Paralysis; Release Enforceable to Preclude Liability for Ordinary Negligence; Triable Issues of Fact Existed Regarding “Gross Negligence”; Dismissal of Strict Liability Claim was Proper)

The plaintiff was a twenty-six year old expert skier who entered a “skiercross” race which took place on a course constructed on the defendant’s ski runs. In the “skiercross” race format, four racers simultaneously descended a course that featured difficult turns and tabletop jumps. The racers competed against each other as they skied down the mountain to complete the course first. On plaintiff’s fourth trip down the course, he attempted to negotiate a tabletop jump. Upon landing from the jump, he fell and fractured his neck, resulting in permanent paralysis. Before being allowed to participate in the contest, plaintiff was required to sign a “Release of Liability and Indemnity Agreement,” which purported to release defendant from negligence liability. Although plaintiff did not read the agreement, he signed it twelve days before the race.


Collision Course

June 20, 2007

Milne v. USA Cycling, Inc. (Utah)
(Mountain Bike Racer Collides with Truck During “Open Course” Race; Waiver and Release Precludes Liability for Ordinary Negligence; Gross Negligence Not Proven)

A participant in a mountain bike race suffered fatal injuries as a result of a collision with a truck. The defendants organized, promoted, and conducted the “open course” race in which the participants shared the race course with regular vehicle traffic. Decedent’s heirs filed suit claiming both ordinary negligence and gross negligence.