Now this will make for an interesting lawsuit. A man was riding a chairlift at Vail’s Blue Sky Basin when the chair flipped, pulled down his pants and left him dangling for 15 minutes like a Christmas ham. This would be an interesting exercise of count the torts. It certainly brings new meaning to the ski phrase: “catching some air.”
The resort may claim that the man was contributorily negligent is the chair was not completely folded down. However, I have always wondered about the liability of having people “catch” moving chairlifts that then suspend them high above the ground. It appears that the man’s right ski got jammed in the ascending chairlift.
Negligence is an obvious claim as is the negligent infliction of emotional distress (for him as opposed for those who watched — known in the ski lingo as “gapers”). Presumably, the chairlift does not make the resort a common carrier but it might be an optional argument to impose the higher standard on the defendant.
This would seem an excellent time for a settlement and presumably, just behind the ski rescue team, there was an emergency legal team swooping in on the scene on skis.
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