Seiger Gfeller Laurie LLP Obtains Defense Verdict on Behalf of Ski Sundown in Lawsuit Involving Terrain Park

February 3, 2011

Kenny Salvini, 23, was skiing at about 35 mph when he went off a jump at a resort in the state of Washington in 2004. Crashing into the packed snow, Salvini broke vertebrae, severed his spinal cord and remains paralyzed. Claiming the jump wasn’t safely constructed, he sued the resort and collected $14 million from a jury.

The verdict sent shockwaves through the ski industry in Connecticut and across the country, especially among resorts with “terrain parks” that contain jumps and obstacles on which skiers and snowboarders perform tricks in their best imitation of X Games superstar Shaun White.

As resort operators worried that skyrocketing insurance costs could force them out of business, more states enacted statutes providing greater legal protections. Meanwhile, resorts continued to require customers to sign away litigation rights via waiver forms.

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