No Joke, New Oregon bill would help protect ski areas, but no one else

The lawsuit that whipped out the protection afforded by releases which cost Mt. Bachelor $21.5 million affects ALL recreation providers in the state

There is a fight going in the Oregon Legislature to broaden the protection afforded by the Oregon Skier Safety Act because of a lawsuit where Mt. Bachelor lost $21.5 million. See Oregon Supreme Court finds release signed at ski area is void as a violation of public policy.

The reason for the suit is releases are void in Oregon. This decision affected every outdoor recreation provider in Oregon. The actions of the ski areas are good in one respect; they will protect themselves…..a little, but bad overall.

1.     The acts of the ski area should be to get releases reintroduced in the state as a legitimate contract in the state.

2.     Broadening the statute only helps for those specific things in the statute, a release covers everything.

However the really disturbing issue is either the rest of the outdoor recreation community in the state is asleep or more likely the ski industry ignored the other recreation providers and is just trying to protect ski areas.

I hope the ski area don’t have any summer activities, because they are going to be in the same boat as everyone else.

Wait, they do.

Mt. Bachelor has a bike park and offers bike lessons and other summer activities

Mt. Hood Meadows bike paths and kids camps and other summer activities

Willamette Pass summer activities

Anthony Lakes summer activities

Etc., etc., etc.,

See Bill would add terrain parks, tree wells to ‘inherent risks’ of skiing

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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15 Comments on “No Joke, New Oregon bill would help protect ski areas, but no one else”

  1. GLB says:

    I was wondering what you thought about my 2 previous comments? Also, Mt Bachelor in Oregon in owned by a very large Corporation, head office in Utah, so they can easily spread the costs amongst all of their resorts. If they didn’t do that I would question how good at business they really were? Wasn’t that the Corporation who just lost their “key” resort in their portfolio through poor business practices? Telling…


  2. GLB says:

    The Senate Bill and the House Bill were killed. Next Oregon Legislative session is in 2016 and is only for 5 weeks. Seems now defense lawyers will have to earn their keep. Can’t rely on the Summary Judgment based on Release, slam bam defense.


    • The price of your lift ticket is going to double next year also. Had lunch this week with the insurance company for the ski areas up there. Rates going up 3 times so get ready to not ski.


      • GLB says:

        Why would their rates go up immediately? I thought insurance was a loss type premium system? The more you pay out for lawsuits, the more your premiums. They must have a bunch of lawsuits already to defend.


  3. GLB says:

    You can tell you are a lawyer! I disagree with your summation of the article. I think Releases are valid in Oregon under certain circumstances. The Bagley release was specific to the ski industry which provides lift rides (common carrier)


  4. GLB says:

    Also, to correct your comment about states that do not allow releases, based on actually being void, probably will be void etc, another of your articles on this website describes 13 states – not the 6-8 above you mention. Consistency is key to accuracy and reliability.


    • You are guessing again. You looked at the cite and did not read the links. Three states outlaw releases, MT, LA & VA. AZ, NM & WV only void releases for specific things, such as horseback riding in NM, but releases are valid in general. CT, WI & VT have individual decisions stating that releases in those situations they maybe void. CT & WI have several decisions post the decisions cited that state releases are valid. AK & NY void releases for specific purposes, AZ, skiing and NY Health clubs (and a few more things). HI had voided them for recreational purposes in many instances, but not all.


  5. GLB says:

    Just a stretch for you to state Mt Bachelor paid $21.5 million – they did not. I think Bachelor attorney has said many times in the media, we are in unclear territory. The SC Opinion did not invalidate releases on the face. Each case must be run through a prism to see if the waiver is enforceable. Typical sky is falling mentality!


  6. GLB says:

    Sorry but you have quite a few facts wrong. While the SC did decide against Mt Bachelor and Releases in the State of Oregon, the Bagley case has not even been heard yet. So Bachelor paid nothing. You are right that ski resorts are looking out for themselves and not others. Why wouldn’t they? Releases are not valid in Oregon, as in many other States. Another fact you are right on is, ski resorts look after their best interests. Not other folks or businesses interests. Not even the general public who pays to ski. They don’t care about them, only themselves. Arrogant.


    • I’m sorry, but you need to do some research.

      The bagley decision has been heard and made. See Oregon Supreme Court finds release signed at ski area is void as a violation of public policy. Here is the decision: Bagley v. Mt. Bachelor, Inc., dba Mt. Bachelor Ski and Summer Resort, 2014 Ore. LEXIS 994

      Whether or not they have paid any money I don’t know, but normally in an appeal you have to post a bond so I would guess that there is a 99.9% chance the money has been paid.

      Releases have been valid in Oregon prior to the Bagley decision. See the Oregon appellate court decision in Bagley that quotes several Oregon decisions that support releases. Bagley v. Mt. Bachelor, Inc., 258 Ore. App. 390; 310 P.3d 692; 2013 Ore. App. LEXIS 1080

      Releases are valid in the majority of states. In fact releases are only not valid in 6-8 states dependent upon what your basis for that decision is. See States that do not Support the Use of a Release Several states even allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue: States that allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue

      So in your job you look after everyone else? Before posting a little reading on this site would have helped you not make many mistakes.


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