Court Rules Tree Stump in Jackson Hole Lawsuit as 'Inherent Risk'

Court Rules Tree Stump in Jackson Hole Lawsuit as 'Inherent Risk'


Court Rules Tree Stump in Jackson Hole Lawsuit as 'Inherent Risk'


Trail Map Winter - Jackson Hole Resort

A lawsuit again Jackson Hole Mountain Resort dating back to 2017 was recently settled by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

You can read the full history of the case in this article for Yahoo! News by Michael McCann, but I’ve summarized some key points below.

So… what happened?

Thomas Standish and his wife were skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort during a powder-filled week back in January of 2017. The couple decided to venture off-piste, and Thomas struck a 6′ tree stump that was buried beneath the deep snow pack.

^The stump in question minus the deep snowpack. Anybody think that this doesn’t really look ‘off-piste’ like the lawsuit describes? Seems more like a tree next to a groomer if you ask me…

The incident broke multiple bones in Thomas Standish’s leg, made him unable to work, and he still has lasting physical impairments from the injury.

Standish and his wife sued Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for negligence in leaving the tree stump, and for the pain and suffering the couple has experienced since the incident occurred.

The case has been brought before multiple courts, and recently reached the The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, just one step below the U.S. Supreme Court.

May be an image of one or more people, outerwear, people skiing and nature

^Courtesy: FACEBOOK/Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

The verdict?

All courts have agreed that the injury sustained by Thomas Standish was part of the ‘inherent risk’ of skiing or snowboarding at a resort.

Ski resorts will see this case as a big win in their never-ending legal battles against guests injured on the slopes. Resorts dish out thousands of dollars on a yearly basis to settle similar cases rather than fight them in court.

Here’s my opinion- Standish’s injury was terrible, and probably could have been avoided if whoever cut the tree finished the job.

But, I can see how ruling this case in favor of Standish would set a massive precedent against ski resorts in all future cases.

May be an image of nature, tree, mountain and snow

^Courtesy: FACEBOOK/Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Skiing and snowboarding are very dangerous sports, and accidents unfortunately happen. Every skier should take a look at the liability waiver they agree to when purchasing a lift ticket at a ski resort.

It’s a lot of legal bullshit, but it’s always good to have some idea of what you’re getting yourself into when you ski at a resort.

Stay safe out there, friends.

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