Liability Issues in Massachusetts Ski and Snow Parks

10559-a-woman-snow-skiing-pvThe winter season is in full swing, bringing snow to the Northeast and bringing all the wonderful winter outdoor sports that come with it. In New England, skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, ice skating, and other winter sports are extremely popular. Whether you are an occasional skier or a seasoned aficionado of the slopes, there are countless dangers that lurk on ski slopes and recreational snow parks.

If you or someone you love has suffered an accident while at a ski resort, snow park, or similar type of location, you may be entitled to compensation. One of the first things that you should consider after suffering an injury in this location is whether the injury could have been prevented by the ski resort or snow park and whether it was foreseeable that someone would injure him or herself in the same manner. If the facility had knowledge that the condition leading to your injury existed, they may also be held liable for failing to warn you about the dangerous condition or for failing to take steps to remedy it.

What many recreational snow-goers fail to realize is that skiing and snowboarding tickets, admission passes, and season passes often include a waiver that precludes the purchaser from suing the snow park in the event that he or she is injured. In many cases, these waivers extend to a wide array of activities and services that the snow parks provide, including restaurants, rental facilities, parking lots, and more. When it comes to the waiver, the injured visitor is typically barred from bringing claims for injuries sustained as the result of common negligence, in addition to claims arising from their employees’ reckless or wanton conduct.

These contracts also commonly include choice of law provisions, which are contract clauses that require a particular dispute to be litigated or arbitrated in a specific jurisdiction. They can also include unique time limits on bringing claims that operate independently from the statutory time limits provided for negligence and other types of injury actions.

According to Massachusetts law, however, there may be grounds to challenge these waivers as violations of public policy. In other situations, courts have upheld the waivers and required the injured visitor to pursue arbitration pursuant to the contract’s terms.

According to a recent news report, some ski and recreational snow facilities are implementing technology that allows them to track injuries at their facilities in order to help reduce the rate at which visitors are hurt. The software was created by medical providers, which have kept careful logs reporting injuries occurring on Bogus Basin in Idaho. According to the data collected so far, snowboarders suffer injuries at about the same rate as skiers, and most injuries occur on the bunny hills or terrain parks.

At the Law Offices of John S. Moffa, our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers provide seasoned legal guidance to many Boston accident victims and know what it takes to ensure that you obtain the settlement or judgment that you deserve. The last thing you and your family should have to worry about after a devastating  accident is how to navigate the complex legal system. We guide our clients through every step of the process and ensure they receive the compassionate and dedicated legal counsel they deserve. Call us now at 1-508-362-5554 or contact us online to set up your free appointment.

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