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$2.1 M award after jury trial for snow tubing injury in PA.

The way the plaintiff arrived at the hill with tickets unintentionally skirted the release & risk management procedures in this case. The rest of the mistakes were just dumb. Appeal should follow.

This is an article from Pennsylvania written after a jury verdict. It is before an appeal, if any. Do not rely on it for any law, but it is full of interesting risk management issues.

Please read the article: Berks jury awards $2.1M to man in snow tubing crash

A Pennsylvania verdict against a ski area with a tubing hill was for $2.1 million. The plaintiff was part of a group. After skiing all day a friend in the group gave him tubing tickets. He went tubing without signing the release because he already had tickets.

Risk Management Issue Number 1: how do you sell tickets and get release signed

The plaintiff went down the run and hit the stop at the bottom incurring some injuries along the way. Before he could get out of the way, another tuber hit him either increasing his injuries or creating new, worse injuries.

Risk Management Issue Number 2: how do you design a run so that the tubers are not “stopped” but slow to a gentle stop?

Risk Management Issue Number 3: how do you make sure tubers don’t run into each other?

Risk Management Issue Number 4: how do you create a safe exit from the tubing hill

The lawsuit was based on failure to warn which then brings up how many signs can you have posted or should you just put up a drive through screen to have everyone watch for an hour.

I knew a raft company that required people to hand in their release to get their PFD. No PFD you could not get on the bus to go raft.

What else could you do?

Do Something

This case is the perfect example of a combination of “errors” and an injury lead to a massive payout.

This is a great example of holes in a program. How many you can afford to fill is the biggest question. Also remember that the article was based on what the reporter figured out from attending the trial and what he was told by the plaintiff at the end of the trial. The facts might be different.

How knows what the ending may be or where this is going, we probably will never know.

Read the article: Berks jury awards $2.1M to man in snow tubing crash

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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By Recreation Law    Rec-law@recreation-law.com         James H. Moss

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