A skier who broke both ankles and dislocated his shoulder at Jay Peak Resort, VT, in January 2020 has failed in his attempt to sue the resort after he claimed that an unmarked hole on the Deer Run trail caused his injuries. A federal court jury in Burlington quickly rejected Dr. Michael Rosen’s claims. The jury believed that the injuries Rosen sustained were a normal risk associated with skiing, according to Vermont sports injury law.
Rosen, a dentist from New York City, represented himself during the two-day trial. Initially, he had hired a top personal injury lawyer from Vermont for his case, but they parted ways before the trial. The defense, represented by lawyer Thomas P. Aicher, called witnesses and presented evidence to counter Rosen’s claims. Aicher, who has extensive experience in ski defense cases, introduced various exhibits, including photographs and maps, to support the resort’s position.
Rosen never took the witness stand, and his only trial witness was his skiing partner, Carol Ann Germano. After the jury’s verdict, Rosen declined to comment, mentioning that the judge might reverse it. Aicher, on the other hand, refrained from commenting on the case.
In his court papers, Rosen stated that he had been skiing 10-15 days a season for the last ten years and considered himself an advanced skier. He argued that he was skiing slowly and in control when he encountered the hole, which he described as three to four feet wide and deep.
In its response, Jay Peak maintained that skiing inherently carries some risks, and any injuries that occurred were not the ski resort’s fault but rather the result of other factors.
After the fall, the Jay Peak Ski Patrol used a sled to transport Rosen to the base of the mountain. From there, he was taken by Missisquoi Valley Rescue to a nearby hospital, where his dislocated shoulder was treated. Later, he was transferred to the UVM Medical Center in Burlington, where he remained hospitalized for 19 days after discovering that he had broken both ankles.
Ultimately, the jury sided with Jay Peak, ruling in favor of the ski resort and rejecting Rosen’s claims of negligence and failure to address the hole on the trail.