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Snowboarder Sues Burton Over Accident that Left Him Paralyzed



A Halifax court ruled on Wednesday that a young man, who was paralyzed after snowboarding at Nova Scotia’s Wentworth ski hill, will be able to sue both the ski hill and Burton Snowboards.

Back in February 2008, Michael Coady (16 years old at the time) was snowboarding at a demo day at Wentworth Ski Resort.

Coady signed a waiver and took a Burton snowboard for a trial run.

The teen then took the demo board to the terrain park where he fell and broke his neck.

The accident paralyzed Coady and left him in a wheelchair.

Coady is suing Burton and Wentworth Ski Resort for negligence. He argued the snowboard maker failed to warn him about the danger of testing the board, and failed to verify his age.

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  • Ugo

    It happen in a RCR resort like 10 years ago…. the resorts in my region ( both rcr ) weren’t allow to have jumps for a decade…..

    but the jumps will come back this year

  • torn edge

    Look, most of you commenting are no longer 16. Kids that age don’t have much of a personal rudder. They are easily led. I have to figure a lawyer got a hold of him and convinced him that he would need a lot of money in the future (truth) and he had few options to get said cash. This is more about ethics that guide lawyers.

  • Anonymous

    1.) 16 years old is old enough to know you’re lying about your age.
    2.) Every lift pass has this printed on it and you sign a waiver when you buy the pass. This was conciously ignored by the rider.
    3.) This kid has obviously been snowboarding before or he wouldn’t have been in the park. Most people who rent stick to the bunny hill. A rental board, no matter the maker, is not made for rails and boxes. It’s not the correct tool for the job.

    This kid should sue the automotive manufacturer for his transportation to the resort. This kid should also sue the lift manufacturer for getting him up the hill of the park so he could access the feature.

  • Sammy

    What as happen to this boy is sad. But in the end, He did sign a peace of paper, on it stated the risk. So I hope His parents and lawyers don’t get a cent.

  • Codie's paralyzed penis

    Just in: Codie will be suing his paralyzed penis for not responding to his gentle touch.

  • Eric

    Bullshit like this probably drives up insurance premiums at resorts & probably factors into resorts jacking up lift tix rates.
    So after signing a waiver, this moron has to be told that barreling down a terrain park is dangerous?
    You don’t put on a condom unless you’re gonna fuck.
    Know what you’re getting yourself into.
    F’n gaper, eh?

  • eh

    This kid is dumb it’s not Burton or the resorts fault gold digging mofo hey bud I get hurt every season I don’t go around bashing retail companies and resorts sorry your paralysed but it’s your own fault grow up and stop blaming evey one eles for your problems all it’s gonna do is hurt the industry and more importantly hurt people who love the sport cus that’s what it’s all about and ide also like to add the only business gapers have in the park is fuckin Shit up

  • kbehr

    The hill should sue this fucking clown for being a total jack off. I wonder if he was wearing proper safety gear, was boarding within his capabilities, or was comfortable with his gear to attempt what paralyzed him – It’s likely that he was none of the above, and his parents and a jerk off lawyer are leading the brigade. I hope this gets tossed out, and they can pay the resorts legal bills… This is how ski hills shut down, and why tickets are ridiculously priced.


    People need to learn about personal responsibilities. I know the family is probably devastated but snowboarding is one of the most dangerous things to do. That makes it epic, but you have to know what you’re doing first before you do anything rash. Blaming an entire company isn’t the right thing to do at all.

  • safety over-conscious parents have ruined the sports their kids love.

    I hate to say this about someone who’s already paralyzed, but karmas a bitch… I hope someone beats his ass for being a panzy. Was the kid American on vacation in Canada, because that would explain a lot.

  • Eric

    There are a lot of unknowns here that everyone speaks to, including all of the potentially stupid, ignorant, and possibly impaired judgements made by the rider. Ultimately who’s to blame? That’s to be decided in the trial, and there are good points raised in the comments to the validity of signing something as a minor, etc. There was no equipment failure noted, and entering a terrain park usually implies you consent to the inherent risks involved, so it would seem as though it’s really (and unfortunately) a case of Shit Happens.

    Yes, there is the sound argument that if there’s an opportunity to sue over something, people will take advantage of it. Who’s to say that’s not what’s happening here? However, consider for a minute the complications of a life altering injury…

    Clearly there are incredibly high medical costs involved, both present and future, and living costs that will be encountered as well. What would you or your family do if they had to pay those costs? What would your family do if your house had to be outfitted just so you could return home, or even if they had to buy a different car to accommodate your needs? Never mind the costs of care, equipment, time, etc. Chances are, if they couldn’t pay it, they’d try and find how to get the money to cover these expenses. Unfortunately, that’s where people suggest to sue…

  • Cam

    This is a depressing story on a lot of levels. It can hurt our sport, our industry on both the manufacturing and resort level. It may create an increase in the cost of liability insurance and add restrictions to demo days which are very valuable to riders. And in the end a fellow rider of ours has had his life changed forever. But i think we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves.
    As far as i can tell the judge just is allowing the plaintiff to sue. No final decision has been made. At a lot of demo days now i have been asked to sign a waiver, and leave my drivers license with the reps. Did the Burton rep do their due diligence: ask questions to the rider explain the circumstances? All this will come out in court, where it is supposed to. What was the riders circumstances. Had he inspected the park? was he exceeding his ability level? Were there any environmental issues? All these details would greatly effect the outcome of a trial. And that is all it is now, not a verdict. I have been involved in the snowboard industry for almost 20 years and i have had bad crashes, seen bad crashes, and lost friends. Things are never as simple are 1 short article.

  • tim

    are you kidding me? he is suing because HE was not skilled enough. people like this kid and his parents are the reason ski areas are so expensive. hopefully he enjoys the money he won’t be able to use.

  • JP

    Are we sure that the kid is taking it upon himself to sue these companies or is his insurance company forcing these lawsuits to cover what I assume to be pretty outrageous medical bills. This is how it works, if you get hurt badly enough the insurance company will sue whoever it can in order to recoup their losses. This happens regardless of injured patients wishes. Even if he personally accepts responsibility for his actions if he is not paying the bill out of pocket then the decision to file a lawsuit is no longer his.

    Let’s get a full story with some actual detail here eh, what do ya say?

  • nick

    He was 16 so technically he shouldn’t have been able to sign the wavier, his parents should have signed it for him….. Valid lawsuit, the guys should have checked his ID and if he didn’t have any ID not allow him to take the demo out…. Pretty simple.

    • no

      why. we shouldnt need to sign a release to take a run on a snowboard. but people like this kid suck sweaty ass so we have to sign shiz. we should all find his house and cut his useless limbs off

  • Willy

    Where are we the states? Sue over anything, I fell when I was breaking in your house and I’m gonna sue you… Douche canoe…

  • Bum Ski

    I agree that this is BS…BUT, the representative from Burton who didn’t verify this kids age is truly the one at fault. Unfortunately he’ll probably win which might make demo days a thing of the past…

    • 50/50 switch

      The kid knowingly LIED ABOUT HIS AGE, so let’s reward him for that and let him make the Rep that excepted the signed waiver in ” good faith” the bad guy here?! This whole situation is absurd and sad.

  • thanks for ruining DEMO's

    PARENTS… DO NOT DO THIS!!! Snowboard companies are NOT TO BLAME. get it thru your thick skulls. you snowboard, you get hurt. WAKE UP!

  • Not a Lawyer

    Rick hit the nail on the head. Minors can’t legally enter into a contract (waiver) without a parent/guardian signature which makes the entire waiver void and basically useless. Could get sticky based on that factor, but I don’t see this bringing Burton down. Sucks the kid is paralyzed, but suing the snowboard company is absurd.

  • Andy O

    That being said it is tragic that this happened. The problem is that since someone has received a paralyzing injury that immediately causes people to feel sorry for them and ignore the fact that they put themselves in the wheelchair. Unless of course something weird happened in the terrain park, ie a feature broke and impaled him. Then it would be the resorts fault, but i can almost guarantee that isn’t the case.

  • Rick Vandalay

    Is every legal eagle on here not taking into account the age factor? I am pretty sure (im a fucking idiot and know nothing except shitty business school law) that you have to be 18 in order to legally sign a waiver. The article says he is 18. And yes he should know the risks but the mountain and Burton can pay in my opinion.

    • Lojack

      But then he must have lied about his age to meet the terms of the trial in the first place? Lying on a legal doc isn’t exactly putting the kid in the lead.

      It’s a real shame that this happened to the kid, one of those bad accidents that are gonna happen in this kind of sport but Burton did not strap that board to that kids feet and force him off a jump, He got injured because of his skill set not the board or the feature. Had he been on his own board it probably would have ended the same way.

    • seriously

      right so the hill and burton can pay? yes burton could probably pay and not see a change in there bank account at all, wentworth on the other hand, is a small locally family owned business that everyone enjoys going to, including myself. I have snowboarded at ww for the last 15 years and this makes me hate the human race even more, what a bunch of fucking idiots. These are the kind of things that makes me think we need to nerf the world and start over. Fuck this guy and his bullshit law suit (probably his parents) which in this case, you guys are terrible parents for making your son look like the biggest douche bag ever

  • LovelandLocal

    Wow. Fuck that kid. What a moron. If I were the judge I’d throw the case out on a count of the plantiff’s ignorance. We need to stop honoring stupid in this world.

  • Chris V

    The guy signed a waiver, which he should not have done at his age, and then used equipment he was probably not qualified to use! What was the judge thinking!!

  • anonym

    wow, what a bunch of assholes some of you guys are. Frankly I’m with you about the legal analysis – that it’s total horseshit – but for the love of god listen to the way you’re talking about this kid who’s confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Get a grip on yourselves.

    • osu

      this “kid” is the one who needs to get a grip. he needs to accept that what HE did caused it and not what some demo board and/or mountain did. he cant accept the fact he fucked up and is now paralyzed.

      • anonym

        Maybe you didn’t read my post. Read it. I agree with your basic point, I just think a lot of these comments are harsh and way overboard. You don’t say “fuck him” or call him a “cunt” in these circumstances – just to cherrypick some of the worst examples of uncivilized douchebaggery on this thread right now…. Plus how much of this do you think is actually his decision and how much of it do you think is being influenced by his parents in consultation with an aggressive lawyer??

        I stick to my comment on this one: get a fucking grip you assholes.

      • torn edge

        you are on the mark, anonym. You guys that are so harsh on this kid, accept that you have no idea, no clue on earth, no possible notion of what this kid is going through, know why? because it hasn’t happened to you. you are coasting along on hormones that block you from having to even deal with the thought of what this must be like.


        People like this kid are the reason park passes have to be in place, and backcountry gates are being closed. I feel bad he is paralyzed, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But the fact that he basically did it to himself and is trying to milk money out of it from people that had nothing to do with it is the messed up part. When I blew my knee, did I sue Tyrolia, the mountain I was skiing, and the ski company of who’s skis I was riding? NO! Why? Because that is ridiculous and stupid. Just like this.

    • anonym

      wtf, I’m getting thumbed down for this? You all need to take a hard look in the mirror at your ugly-ass souls and hope to god something like that never happens to you. Don’t get your panties twisted when someone like me calls you out on your crap.

      • Rainbows and Unicorns

        People have every right to go off on this family. Assholes like them are the reason for high ticket prices, inbounds closures, police on the hill, and a bullshit nanny state in which we live in. They’re trying to pocket money that doesn’t belong to them, because this kids’ number came up. It flies directly in the face of freedom and personal responsibility. I hope they pay through the nose and lose their case.

      • Anonymous

        No. Fuck this kid… People like him are ruining the fun for everyone else. It’s YOUR responsibility as a skier/boarder to ensure your own safety aswell as not puting others to risk. YOU are responsible for YOUR actions, not the boardmanufacturer or the resort.

        Again: Fuck this kid.

        However to the kids defence, my guess is that his parents are the real douches and he’s the one to own up for it.

        By the way, fuck my phone. Can’t view and edit text propperly. Sorry for typos and other crap there might be in what I just wrote :(

  • zki89

    Oh great! This may sound mean, but he will be forever known as “The Dick who Ruined Demo Days”. Sorry you broke your neck, but that’s a risk to the rewards of winter sports. NOT an excuse to sue.

  • Local Mounter

    I have experience at these demo days at Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood, Squaw and Sugar Bowl. Burton was the only company to have a waiver to sign and that itself should be enough of a leg for the company to stand on and avoid a law suit. However, this kid should have known that going through any terrain park, on a demo board, (that is not de-tuned to his specific needs) could result in a catastrophic fall/injury.

    Was he wearing a helmet? Was he wearing any protective gear? What was his THC/BAC levels?

    Shitty for everyone involved. Why not sue your parents for allowing you to take up such a dangerous sport?

    • Anonymous

      16 yrs old, signature dont mean shit til u r 18 . burton reps fault for not verifying that, and it is his gaper ass family forcing this guy to sue most likely

  • Haha

    “Yeah I’m just gonna go ride this slippery board on this hard pack snow over here, there is no way I can slip and break my neck.”

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