Monday, September 10, 2012

Aspen Settles Hot Dog Lawsuit

photo credit: Aspen Skiing Co.

The Aspen Daily News is reporting that Aspen Skiing Co. has settled a lawsuit with a man who claimed to be injured while boarding a chairlift because lift attendants were distracted by serving hot dogs to skiers.

As Ski, Esq. reported back in May, Aspen's tradition of having its lift attendants serve hot dogs to skiers on Wednesdays allegedly distracted lift attendants who failed to notice that the chair skier Ryan Bradley was about to board still contained a metal apparatus used by ski patrol for transporting toboggans. Bradley claims he was injured as a result and filed suit against the resort. 

Ski, Esq. remains convinced that there was a real possibility that Aspen would have been found negligent per se at trial. The case hinged on whether a jury would believe the resort violated the Passenger Tramway Safety Act by asking its lift attendants to serve patrons hot dogs.  Given that the resort was held to a higher standard of care under Colorado law because a skier has little or no control over his own movements while riding a chairlift or gondola and must necessarily depend on the operator for his safe passage, Aspen was prudent to settle the case. See Summit County Development Corp. v. Bagnoli, 166 Colo. 27, 441 P.2d 658 (1968).

The terms of the settlement remain confidential and there is no word from the resort as to whether the tradition of serving hot dogs will continue.
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