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Perisher Valley Ordered To Pay $1.13 Million For Ski Lift Accident



Australia’s Perisher Valley ski resort has been ordered by a judge to pay nearly AUD $1.2 million (approximately $1.13 million US) to a Sydney area woman who was injured in a ski lift incident on July 18, 2003.

Ghita Nair-Smith, 54, was attempting to load a chairlift at Perisher but when the chair came around the safety bar was down. Both parities agree that a lift attendant swung the bar upward before Nair-Smith loaded the lift but they do not agree on what happened next.

The ski resort contends that the lift operator raised the safety bar in time for Nair-Smith to safely occupy her seat, but that she moved out of the proper loading position when she overreacted to the situation. Nair-Smith contends that the raising of the safety bar caused the chair to begin to swing from side to side. In either event, both sides agree that the handrail on the side of the chair struck Nair-Smith between the buttocks, resulting in an injury to her groin area.

In July, Justice Robert Beech-Jones found the ski resort negligent and ordered both parties to come to terms regarding damages. Last week, after they were unable to come to a mutually agreeable figure, he awarded Nair-Smith AUD $1,192,597.50 plus interest.

The court found that the collision has prevented Nair-Smith from fully carrying out the functions of her occupation as a general practitioner. It also agreed with her contentions that the injury has resulted in a psychologic pain disorder, has interfered with sexual relations, and that she would need a house cleaner and domestic assistant for herself and her family, as well as a kitchen remodeling to accommodate her injury.” firsttracksonline.com

  • Matthew Stagg

    Someone needs to explain to this woman that accidents happen. I find it rather hard to believe that the extent of her injuries goes that far, especially when it is likely she over-reacted to the bar being down, making it partly her own fault as I see it…

    It’s incidents like this that make me worry that this country is turning into another America. Everyone suing everyone for nothing. People get hurt on chairlifts every week at Ski fields, I’ve seen kids face-plant and perfectly competent skiers and boarders eat the snow on lifts too, injuries and all. And I’ve had my fair share of accidents on the hill.

    But I’m content not to cost the provider millions over what is, essentially, an accident.
    What a ludicrous amount of money to award.

  • Marc Guido

    Guys, we’ve worked side-by-side many times over the years, and while we certainly appreciate the link-back it’s rather uncool to copy and paste one of our articles verbatim.

    Shred on!

  • Igor Fokeev

    I’ve been hit in the balls with the same bar… I don’t need any special help and they still work juuust fine. What a load of bollocks.

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