Although many Florida residents may enjoy skiing, very few would argue that it’s a safe sport. Many people have died after getting caught in avalanches or hitting trees or other obstacles. One New York woman is claiming that her husband’s death on a ski slope was caused by the ski resort’s negligent maintenance.
In February 2012, a 53-year-old Staten Island man – a renown forensics expert involved in many high-profile criminal cases – was killed in a ski accident after he went off the intermediate trail while skiing in the Catskills Mountains in upstate New York. He went through a ditch and hit an embankment. He died at the scene.
The area was an exposed ravine that connected two trails. The man’s wife recently filed a lawsuit against Ski Windham Operating Corp., claiming that dangerous conditions cost her husband his life. She maintains that the company failed to maintain the ski trail and that it was designed poorly. It is unknown how much she is asking in damages.
The woman’s lawyer believes they have a strong case. Even though the man went off the path, there should have been signs warning skiers to stay on the path because of imminent danger. It is unknown if the ski resort had any such signs posted.
Although all businesses – including ski resorts – have the duty to keep premises clear of hazards, should the ski resort be liable for the man’s decision to leave the trail? Were there any posted signs warning skiers to stay on the path? Many skiers like to take risks, but it’s important to obey any warning signs. It will be up to the courts to decide if the woman’s claim is valid. If so, she could receive compensation for various damages, including funeral expenses and lost wages from the man’s successful career.
SILive.com, “Staten Island forensic expert’s death in upstate skiing accident spurs lawsuit” Frank Donnelly, Sep. 30, 2013