Liability of Ski and Snowboard Resort Operators
Skiing and snowboarding are enjoyable and popular Canadian winter pastimes. Unfortunately, skiing and snowboarding come with inherent risks that can lead to serious injuries. Can a ski resort be held liable for an injury to a skier or snowboarder? The answer depends on a number of factors.
Resort owners have traditionally argued that skiers and snowboarders know that they are participating in risky activities and voluntarily assume the risks involved. More recently, resort owners have been relying on signed contractual waivers and releases that further restrict or exclude the legal duty they owe to their patrons.
However, waivers and releases are not always a complete bar to recovery. Resort owners looking to rely on a waiver must prove that they brought the waiver or release to the attention of the injured person and that the waiver or release clearly addressed the type of negligent behaviour that caused the injury. Resort owners must also prove other factors including the suitability of the words used in the waiver and the nature, extent and location(s) of any posted signs, waivers and releases. Lastly, courts have consistently refused to enforce waivers relating to the rights of children signed by a parent or guardian.
If you or someone you know is seriously injured while skiing, snowboarding or participating in another sport or event, it is crucial to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine your legal rights.
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