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Court Allows Skiing Accident Case to Slide Ahead (NY)

July 22, 2016

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<p style="text-align: justify;">New York courts typically find that participants in dangerous sports consent to the inherent risks and cannot recover for injuries they sustain.  But an exception is where the conduct causing the injury is so "reckless, intentional, or negligent" that it creates an "unreasonably increased risk."</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In <a href="http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2016/2016_05335.htm"><em>Horowitz v. Chen</em></a>, the plaintiff was at the base of a beginner slope, near a marked safety zone, when the defendant hit her going 20 to 30 kilometer per hour (12 to 18 miles per hour), and plaintiff sustained serious injuries.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The defendant moved for summary judgment on the theory that skiing has inherent risks, which the trial court denied.  On appeal, the Court agreed that there were triable issues of fact as to whether the defendant had engaged in reckless conduct by skiing into a crowded area at the base of a beginner's slope. Furthermore, in view of the significant injuries sustained by the plaintiff, an issue was raised as to whether the speed at which defendant was skiing was reckless under the circumstances.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Paul Vitale for his contribution to this post and please write to Mike Bono for more information.</p>

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