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Snowboarder May Not Recover for Injury Sustained at Ski Resort
Description Appeals court upheld district court summary judgment in favor of ski resort sued by snowboarder seriously injured when making a jump on an expert run. The Michigan Ski Area Safety Act makes clear that skiers assume the risks inherent in the sport.
Topic Torts
Key Words Assumption of Risk, Statutory Limitations, Snowboarding
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Seventeen-year old Shukoski was rendered quadriplegic when he crashed attempting a jump on a black-diamond (expert) run on his snowboard. He sued the ski resort for negligence, claiming that the downward slope on the man-made jump was too flat to be safe. The district court held for the ski resort, finding that the Michigan Ski Area Safety Act barred this personal injury action. Shukoski appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The Act "provides that skiers assume the risk arising from 'variations in terrain'." The Act states that a skier "accepts the dangers that inhere in that sort insofar as the dangers are obvious and necessary." The run in question was properly marked and understood to be modified to provide jumps for boarders. "Shukoski's accident, however tragic, was the result of the inherent risks both of snowboard skiing and of the terrain which he attempted to navigate, risks which he intentionally assumed by his own course of action."
Citation Shukoski v. Indianhead Mountain Resort, Inc., 166 F.3d 848 (6th Cir., 1999)

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