Monday, June 28, 2010

Cool Thoughts for a Hot Summer Day - Ski Resort's Release from Liability Upheld

In a recent decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a ski resort's liability waiver in the case of Chepkevich v. Hidden Valley Resort, --- A.2d ----, 2010 WL 2482363 (Pa. June 21, 2010, Castille, C.J.).

The plaintiff was injured in the use of the resort's ski lift, The plaintiff had previously signed a waiver that released Hidden Valley Resort from "all the risks of skiing and boarding," which included "the use of lifts," and applied "regardless of any negligence" on the part of the resort or its employees.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the waiver did not amount to a contract of adhesion as the plaintiff was free to choose whether or not to engage in the skiing activity. The Court also rejected the argument by the injured party that the waiver was invalid due to the failure to specifically define the word "negligence" in the document.

Click here to view Chief Justice Castille's Opinion of the Court:

Click here to view Justice Saylor's Concurring Opinion:

Click here to view Justice Baer's Concurring Opinion:

I send thanks to Attorney Matt Keris of the Moosic, Pennsylvania office of Marshall, Dennehey, Coleman, Warner & Goggin for bringing this decision to my attention.

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