Years after a viral video showed rescuers failing to catch a falling snowboarder from a chairlift, the victim is suing.
The Vancouver Sun reports that a snowboarder who fell around twenty-six feet off a chairlift is suing Whistler Blackcomb for unspecified damages. Bryan Phu Manh Tran, who was fourteen years old at the time of the fall is suing WB Land Inc., Whistler Blackcomb General Partner, ABC Property Management Co., and XYZ Property Maintenance Co. for negligence and/or breach of duty.
Back on December 3, 2016, Bryan was traveling up the Emerald Express Chairlift at Whistler Blackcomb. The plaintiff alleges that he was seated on the chairlift when the incident occurred, but didn’t have the restraining bar down. Slipping on the seat caused him to dangle from the chairlift:
“The plaintiff was seated on the chairlift when he fell to the ground. At the time of the incident, the plaintiff was conducting himself in a safe and prudent manner.”
A crew of people set up a firemen’s net below Bryan’s location. When Bryan fell, the net couldn’t hold him in, leading to Bryan falling onto the ground. After this, ski patrollers brought him to the Whistler Medical Centre.
A video from the incident, included below, shows Bryan falling to the ground. Just a forewarning: it’s a rough watch.
The injuries sustained from the fall were immense. Bryan suffered a fractured spine, and head trauma, among many other injuries across his body. These injuries have continued to affect him, which according to the Vancouver Sun, includes “cognitive deficits, altered gait, spinal arthritis, psychological injuries, and chronic pain.”
According to the lawsuit, here’s the damage that this incident has caused:
“The injuries have caused and continue to cause the plaintiff pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent physical disability, loss of physical mental and emotional health…The plaintiff continues to undergo medical care and treatment and to incur loss and expense.”
These claims will be put to the test in court. Whistler has yet to issue a public comment. It’ll be interesting to see how liability laws at ski resorts stack up in Canada compared to the stingier rulings in the United States.