A federal lawsuit filed this month accuses the operators of Big Snow, an indoor ski slope at the American Dream Mall in Bergen County, of negligence in the injury of a woman who visited the facility last year, according to New Jersey Local News. This case states that the plaintiff suffered from serious and permanent injuries at the indoor ski slope in February 2020 due to the careless and negligent actions of the staff at Big Snow ski area in New Jersey.
Hugh Reynolds, the Chief Marketing Officer, did not provide specifics on this incident, but just stated that skiing and snowboarding come with an inherent risk. He said that it is up to each snowboarder to know their comfort level and make decisions based on their ability to control themselves.
This lawsuit names the defendants as Big Snow American Dream ski area and Snow Operating LLC, the corporation that owns and maintains this indoor ski area. The lawsuit says that Valentin suffers “severe, painful personal injuries” that have caused her to be disabled, which led to the loss of money and the need to seek medical attention.
Valentin participated in a beginners’ group ski lesson and she was instructed to take the chairlift up and ski down. When she arrived at the top of the slope, she found that there were only two options, an intermediate or expert trail. Considering that she was not at all confident in her ability to ski, she expressed her fear and explained to an employee that she would like to take the lift back down. She was told that she has to either ski down or take her skis off and walk.
After struggling to walk down this steep and icy slope, Valentin decided to put her skis on and go down the trail. Upon attempting to ski for one of her very first times, she had great trouble getting down the slope and ended up faceplanting and tumbling multiple times.
While she was supposed to be assisted by an instructor down the slope, she was left alone to continuously fall and eventually injure her knee. Valentin was removed from the ski area by an ambulance and diagnosed with a torn right ACL at Hackensack University Medical Center.
The injury is extremely devastating for the plaintiff as she will need to have surgery in order to repair her torn ACL, and will need several months of recovery. During this recovery time, she will not be able to work which will result in a large financial loss.
The plaintiff claims that Big Snow acted with negligence as there are no signs to inform people of the lack of beginner-friendly trails at the top of the lift. Additionally, upon arrival at the top of the slope, one who is too nervous or inexperienced to get down has no way of getting down besides walking or attempting to ski.
Considering that Big Snow American Dream is the only indoor ski facility in North America, it is vital that a safe and friendly environment is created for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Had she been given proper notice and instruction, would she still have gotten injured?