The Wyoming Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could make it difficult for skiers injured on ski lifts to collect damages saying that the inherent risk that skiers accept while on a mountain includes their time spent on the chair lifts. “The court said that the use and operation of ski lifts may be an inherent risk also, ‘although those questions must be decided by the fact finder based on the evidence presented.’ ”
Sharon Muller, of Hawaii, sued the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in 2001 based on claims that she was injured when her ski boot became caught underneath the ski rack of the Bridger Gondola and was subsequently dragged several feet resulting in a fractured tibia. A federal jury ruled against Muller in 2003. Muller appealed the verdict to the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver which asked the Wyoming Supreme Court to address whether Wyoming’s Recreational Safety Act covers the risk of riding chair lifts in addition to skiing itself.
Muller attorney, William Fix, says that he intends to appeal the ruling in federal court and challenge the constitutionality of Wyoming’s entire Recreational Safety Act.