If you plan to go to Vail and enjoy some skiing—you had better read the waivers you are signing. In Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., (Civil Action No. 15-cv-1394-WJM-NYW.) United States District Court D., Colorado, January 13, 2017, the court granted Motions for Summary Judgment for Vail Summit Resorts, based on the waivers on the back of the lift tickets.
In Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., (“Brigance”), plaintiff Teresa Brigance and her husband went to Keystone Mountain Resort (run by the defendant) to ski, back in 2015. In facts not disputed by either side, Brigance and her husband signed a “Ski School Waiver” and “Lift Ticket Waiver” both of which included liability waivers. The language included in the waivers was very broad, including “…I understand that participating…can be hazardous and involve the risk of physical injury and/or death.” The waiver language also included, in all caps: “…I UNDERSTAND THAT THE DESCRIPTION OF THE RISKS IN THIS AGREEMENT IS NOT COMPLETE AND VOLUNTARILY CHOOSE FOR PARTICIPANT TO PARTICIPATE IN AND EXPRESSLY ASSUME ALL RISKS AND DANGERS OF THE ACTIVITY, WHETHER OR NOT DESCRIBED HERE, KNOWN OR UNKNOWN, INHERENT OR OTHERWISE..”
The plaintiff argued that the waivers were not enforceable as against public policy. The court analyzed several aspects of the plaintiff’s claims: first, whether there was a duty to the public, second it examined the nature of the service provided, and third, whether the contract was fairly entered into. Next, the court examined the intention of the parties, the Colorado statutory provisions, and then applied the waivers to the plaintiff’s claims. The court in Brigance granted Summary Judgment for the defendant, Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., and granted court costs.
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