Canadian government suing Blackcomb Mountain for the health care costs of an injured snowboarder

Never forget the subrogation clause in any insurance policy. It will allow the insurance company to sue whoever caused your injury to recoup their payouts.

The injured snowboarder caught an edge and fell over Crystal Road run, down a steep embankment and over a climb. She suffered a:

….dislocation of the vertebrae with associated spinal-cord injury and several fractures of the vertebrae. She also suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, dislocated her ribs and had a left femur and femoral fracture.

The lawsuit claims the accident was caused by the “negligence and breach of duty of the defendant,” The complaint further sates the defendant created a “hazardous condition and failed to erect adequate warning signs. The suit also alleges the company failed to erect a barrier.”

The defendant is Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership, which is the owners and operators of Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain. The defendants have not filed an answer at the time of the article.

Subrogation is the name of a clause in an insurance policy that allows the insurance company to collect any money that may be owed you for your injuries. If you injured due to the negligence of someone else, your health insurance company can sue that third party to recover the money they paid out on your behalf for your medical bills.

This must be the first time it has occurred in Canada. When I worked as a risk manager at a ski resort I received a subrogation claim letter every week. I received one every time a member or the military or a federal employee was injured.

The ski area does not have to pay out if they ski area was not negligent or if the ski area as a defense to the claim. So any defense the ski area may have against a suit by the injured skier or boarder is effective against the subrogation claims. In my case, the Colorado Ski Safety Act, Assumption of the Risk and in many cases a release stopped the subrogation claim.

See B.C. sues ski resort for care costs of injured boarder

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2010 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law, Recreaton.Law@Gmail.com

© 2010 James H. Moss

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