Image and Map: Big Boulder Ski Area, PA
A federal jury has awarded $2.5 million to a man who broke his leg after snowboarding into snowmaking equipment at Big Boulder Mountain.
Last week, a jury in Pennsylvania found that the operators of the ski area were negligent for not adequately closing a trail before putting a snow-making machine in the middle of the ski path.
Messa & Associates attorney Lee Rosenfeld told The Legal Intelligencer “I could not be happier for Mr. Ashmen. Big Boulder’s placement of a large and dangerous machine on an improperly marked closed trail goes well beyond what anyone could anticipate while snowboarding,”
According to his pretrial memo, Ashmen and a group of friends had been snowboarding that morning before taking the afternoon off to relax. The group then went back out riding at about 8 p.m. Ashmen and his friends rode onto “Snowdrift” trail. The memo said there was some evidence that a rope had been placed across the entrance, but the rope was down at the time Ashmen entered.
The memo goes on to state that Ashmen had jumped off a snow platform and while airborne saw a snow machine positioned about 10 feet down the hill. He then tried to avoid the machinery but could not.
Big Boulder, noted that the friend who accompanied Ashmen down the trail said he had seen the rope and a sign indicating the trail was closed.