Family of Teenager Seriously Injured During Pond Skim Event Claim Resort is Negligent

Steven Agar | | Industry NewsIndustry News
pond skim
The aftermath of the accident, March 2017. Credit: Jackson Hole News and Guide

The pond-skim is an end of season ritual at many resorts across the country, a fun way to celebrate the end of another season. But for one entrant at Snow King Mountain Resort, WY his participation in the event had an everlasting effect on the rest of his life, caused by injuries sustained during his skim attempt. Can the resort be held responsible?

The teenager has permanent injuries from an accident he was in during the pond skim event in March 2017, according to a complaint filed by his parents. Doug and Elizabeth Doyle, through their attorney, Jerry Bosch, claim Snow King was negligent.

Jackson hole, snow king, Wyoming, gondola
Snow King Mountain Resort. Credit: Jackson Hole Traveler

The complaint filed against Snow King Holdings LLC claims their son “WDD” was severely and permanently injured as a result of the condition of the defendant’s premises and defendant’s negligence in designing, creating and conducting a “pond skim” event. The boy and some other teenagers skied across a pool of water at the base of the mountain and one of the other skier’s edges cut WDD’s leg. Video of the accident shows one of the teen’s friends skiing over him in the pool, and the water becomes stained with blood.

“WDD suffers significant and life-changing injuries including permanent nerve damage that results in what is commonly referred to as drop-foot,” Bosch wrote in the complaint.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs say the accident happened on land under the control of Snow King through a lease agreement with the town of Jackson.

“There are no warning signs about the risk of undertaking this activity,” the complaint states. “Specifically, there are no warnings about the dangers of more than one person attempting to pond skim at the same time. Defendants built the pond and then simply allowed anyone to use it as they saw fit without control or warning.”

pond skim
The pond skim is a closing day tradition. Credit: Mammoth Mountain

The complaint says the ski blade cut through WDD’s skin, blood vessels, tendons, and nerves. The plaintiffs have yet to indicate how much they’ll seek in damages if the case moves past the liability stage, but it’s more than $50,000.

The original complaint was filed before Wyoming’s new Skier Safety Act went into effect, which is designed to protect ski areas from such lawsuits.

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5 thoughts on “Family of Teenager Seriously Injured During Pond Skim Event Claim Resort is Negligent

  1. You made the choice dumb ass to drop in with your buddy’s and your choice was a bad one. Now you’re trying to sue for $$$$. Your a dick stand up and own it you dumb ass

  2. There are no signs at traffic junctions stating it is dangerous to run a light, if you run it and get injured you cannot sue the city. There are no signs at swimming pools stating you can’t breath underwater, it’s just sense (it’s not common anymore). There are no signs on trees to say don’t ski into trees. This is blame culture at it worst and there are no signs of people getting any brighter because of it. Judges, at the top, need to be throwing cases like these out of court and charging the lawyers who bring them. Now lets look at some of the basic rules of skiing which every skier/rider should know.
    Always ski in control and within your abilities
    Always check uphill before setting of to make sure its clear
    Thats just 2 of them but both these teenagers failed to follow them – NO CASE, SIMPLE.

  3. Some people just don’t want other people to have fun . Skiing is an inherently dangerous sport.
    If you purchase a lift ticket you indemnify the resort and everyone who is employed at the resort, pond skimming is a spring tradition , all participants understand that it is risky an

    1. Life is inherently dangerous, with a fatality rate of 100%. That being said, one of the major reasons ski resorts exist is to help defray much of the risk inherent to the sport. When you buy a lift ticket, you are paying for more than just lifts. You paying for avalanche control, safety (patrol lines), and other safety measures. Simply buying a lift ticket does _NOT_ fully indemnify the ski area (no matter what the ticket says). Negligence cannot be indemnified against.

      Pond skimming becomes significantly more dangerous when done with more than one person at a time. There is a good chance that Snow King Holdings LLC was unaware of the increased danger of triple pond skimming,, but this does not defray any of their liability. This is why liability insurance exists.

      1. Squaw valley has been doing the Cushing crossing for a long time, lots of triples and doubles at the same time. If you don’t understand the risk then you don’t go !
        Participants sign a waiver before being allowed to compete in addition to the lift ticket waiver. Why is it that ski resort is negligent ? How could he not understand the risk ? Skiing is inherently dangerous, pond skimming adds another level of risk. Ignorance is not a defense
        Tell a police officer you didn’t know the speed limit and try to plead ignorance . Doesn’t work. No sign warning people pond skimming is dangerous ? There are signs all over ski resorts warning you of natural and unnatural objects, snowcats , snowmobiles. Don’t plead ignorance, it doesn’t work.
        Ski resorts have successfully defeated lawsuits based on lift ticket waiver rules. It does indimnify everyone. That waiver on the back of the lift ticket holds up in a courtroom. Look it up .
        Do your research before claiming waivers don’t work.

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