A lawsuit was brought on behalf of a girl who allegedly broke her leg in a skiing accident at Catamount Ski Resort, located in upstate New York on the Massachusetts border. Apparently, plaintiff ran into an unpadded pole that was located in an area where skiing was permitted.
After discovery, the ski resort moved for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff assumed the risks associated with skiing. Justice Manuel Mendez, a judge sitting on the Supreme Court in New York County granted Catamount’s motion, because plaintiff “assumed the risks” associated with skiing. Plaintiff appealed to the Appellate Division, First Department.
On appeal, the Appellate Division, First Department heard all arguments in regards to the case. When both sides rested, the court decided that the plaintiff did not assume the risk of hitting an unpadded pole in a skiing area and that it was an increased risk, not contemplated by the General Obligations Law section that barred such suits. The panel stated that because of the location of the unpadded pole, it could be determined that the defendant failed to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition.
Thanks to March Schauer for his contribution to this post. Please email Brian Gibbons with any questions.