Mt Bachelor being sued over death of 9yr old

slowrider

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Tragic outcome. Local talk says people were warned of very icy conditions before loading Summit chair. I can assure you I've been on Summit when I questioned my choice of putting myself in a situation that was dangerous.
I heard the child's mother was escorting him when they loaded Summit chair. Who is responsible for making the decision to allow a 9 yr old to be exposed to those conditions? In the end a child lost his life,very sad.
 

Bad Bob

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That is a sad sad story.
Our sport can have consciences. If the area warned of icy conditions, the area should have covered themselves by making the skiers aware of conditions, especially if the parent or guardian was with the boy.
 

fatbob

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Obviously terribly sad. I do struggle however with these "hindsight" claims given the obvious objective risk associated with all skiing and the role of localised conditions and individual skill in modifying that risk. I doubt anyone was actively encouraging the pair to go up the lift with an assurance of "everything's fine there will be no difficulty for you" and even post offload there is always an opportunity to ask for a download or a skidoo ride i.e. implicitly the adult chose to take on the risk of the pair of them skiing down.

Obviously I have a vested interest - like most skiers I don't want to see a situation where ski hills are obliged to keep terrain closed in all but optimum conditions.
 

crosscountry

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Jeez, come to the northeast. It's rare any day that doesn't have some part of the mountain be icy.

I don't say this lightly. There're days I encounter ice when I least expect it. And I ski often enough to have some experience. The mother, if she doesn't ski there regularly, have even less to based on.

But what do people expect? The mountain closes the run when there's "some" ice? How much ice?
 

scott43

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I was at Whiteface one year and the Lookout Mountain side was deemed "Experts Only" and double Black Diamond. It was clearly signed as such at the base of the lift and the lifties reminded patrons as they were approaching the lift. Once I got up there (I wouldn't say I'm an expert..advanced maybe..) it was actually fairly benign. I've been on much worse on unsigned runs in the more central areas at other hills. So I dunno..I think patrol and ops are pretty good about noting conditions and signing/roping/noting these things. Having said that..you can't control huge mountains 100%. Where is the line as crosscountry says? Has to be some latitude toward the operator I would think.
 

crgildart

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Not familiar with the area where this happened so who knows...

But..

I've seen situations following wicked bad sleet where the trails are groomed (mostly skiable death cookies) but the woods aren't because the cats can't get in there to groom. One of the most horrific things I ever witnessed was exactly that situation where some kid was trying to go in to the woods, steep glazed ice section in trees under the lift.. to retrieve a dropped glove. People were hollering at them from the cair NOT to go in there. They didn't listen and it was devastating, I heard the sizzle of the slide, the CRACK of them hitting a tree.. and then screaming, absolute screaming in pain..

Should they have closed the trail? Pretty much all of them were like that.. groomed on piste but completely unnavigable off the trail in the wooded sections and under the lifts. They would have had to close almost all the blue and black terrain to prevent that type of accident.
 

slowrider

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I was on the mt that day. Even an advanced rider would have not enjoyed the run down. The child straight lined from the top(couldn't stop) there was a rock ridge part way down...... OK I'm out.
 

GB_Ski

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It's tragic. My home mountain is Belleayre. One run (Winnisook) some times can be a mogul ice skating rink. Ski patrols regularly close that run when it's pure ice. Last season, they actually shut down the entire mountain one Sunday because the entire mountain was ice.

I think there is a point where you have to close the runs.
 

fatbob

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Suing is the new way to make a living, it seems.

I think you can cut bereaved parents some slack. Making "them" pay or at least having their day in court seems to be the way they process grief. Only truly twisted people would think dead child kerching!

We just had an extended spectacle of parents fighting unsucessfully through all levels of court to try to preserve the life indefinitely of a child who is brain dead and entirely dependent on outside assistance. I understand why they do it - they are clinging to the faintest hope of a miracle 10 years, 20 years on but really all they are doing is postponing the moment of grief.
 

zircon

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I can’t believe it’s not England!
The unspoken part about American "litigiousness" is also the exorbitant cost of health care here. Frequently, it's the health insurance company trying to disclaim financial responsibility and demanding they sue someone else to exhaust their options before it'll pay out.
 

scott43

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I mean, I believe litigation can make for safer places. That's perhaps the motivating factor. It only take a second for things to go sideways. I watch my kids and imagine all of the possible outcomes and it's maddening. I don't know how to just..let go. It's hard.
 

KingGrump

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I watch my kids and imagine all of the possible outcomes and it's maddening. I don't know how to just..let go. It's hard.

The easiest way to let go is to put those little tykes in a seasonal program. Great for your skiing experience too.
 

crosscountry

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I think there is a point where you have to close the runs.
True. But that "point" isn't a mathematical "point". It's a spectrum. It's a very fuzzy "ball", or lump! It's a person guessing, estimating and making a decision.

The truth is "skiing is inherently dangerous"! Mountain ops make it "safer". But I can't expect them to make it absolutely safe. It's a natural environment, not the man made Disney Magic Mountain!
 

Shawn

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I wonder what the theory of the case is. Negligence by a breach of some kind of duty to warn— which is also somehow not precluded by Oregon's ski law? I'm not a lawyer in Oregon, but it's hard to see this case surviving a motion for summary judgment in Mt. Bachelor's favor. I mean, right?
 

François Pugh

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I got hurt loosing control on my suzuki 750 going around a corner at 175 mph. I'm going to sue Suzuki for making a bike that would do 175 mph. Then, if that doesn't work, maybe I can sue my parents for raising an idiot. :rolleyes:
If there's a point where you think the run should be closed, fine; man up and decide for yourself and don't ski it. Be responsible.

If I ran the world (and a lot of folk are plenty glad I don't), runs would me marked ski at own risk instead of closed.
 

crosscountry

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About the only way I can find the mountain at fault is when the patrol director take the stand and say '"I told my GM my patrollers are fearing for their life. It's that icy", and the GM told us "We can't afford to give out vouchers, spin up them chairs!"'

Don't get me wrong, I often wish mountains would rate their runs based on condition, not just the gradients and width. But since that's not yet the industry norm, condition will have to be inferred by the customer. A complete boiler plate green run could still kill. That being the "inherent danger" of skiing! It's a "contract" the customers signed by buying a ticket!
 
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GB_Ski

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About the only way I can find the mountain at fault is when the patrol director take the stand and say '"I told my GM my patrollers are fearing for their life. It's that icy", and the GM told us "We can't afford to give out vouchers, spin up them chairs!"'
And this lawsuit will find that out. Otherwise, we would never know.
 
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