Snowboarder Paralyzed at Grouse Mountain, BC Given Green Light to Pursue Lawsuit

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Jason Apps with his friends after the accident. Instagram/Jason Apps

A man who was rendered quadriplegic after a fall in Grouse Mountain’s snowboard park in 2016 has been given the green light to sue the resort. The BC Court of Appeal overturned a decision by the Supreme Court that summarily dismissed his lawsuit last June. The allegations in the case have never been tested in court.

Australian Jason Apps had argued that the British Columbia mountain was negligent in designing the snowboard terrain park, had breached the Occupier’s Liability Act and had failed to warn of the risk for serious injury, reports Global News.

In its original decision to dismiss the case, the Supreme Court judge accepted Grouse Mountain’s arguments that there was adequate signage warning Apps of his rights and the risks of snowboarding. It also accepted that Apps, an employee at Whistler resort who worked with waivers, would have known his rights.

Grouse Mountain trail map

But the court of appeal found problems with both of those arguments. With regards to the signage, it found that the lower court had included warning signs posted near the terrain park, rather than the just the waiver notice posted at the cashier, in its decision.

“By the time Mr. Apps arrived at the Terrain Park, he had paid for his non-refundable ticket, taken the lift up the mountain, and had begun snowboarding,” found the court. “It was far too late to give notice of what was in the waiver. That had to be done at or before the ticket booth.”

The judges also found that Apps’ experience working with waivers did not apply to this case.

“I do not think the fact that Mr. Apps had some previous awareness that when he signed an agreement at Whistler, he was waiving legal rights of some sort, can satisfy that obligation in this case,” states the judgment.

The ruling does not find in favor of either Apps or Grouse Mountain when it comes to the actual merits of the original lawsuit, that decision would fall to a new judge at a later trial.


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6 thoughts on “Snowboarder Paralyzed at Grouse Mountain, BC Given Green Light to Pursue Lawsuit

  1. Millions of people enjoy the winter because of the increased access to mountains in the ski areas and the snowboard parks. We all KNOW it is “at our own risk”….printed on the ticket, and in the case of the Vail Resorts, we have to sign a waiver before we are given our season pass — as an employee or as a visitor. People do get hurt. And, go on with their lives. And, there are programs for limited ability skiers and snowboarders. Can we sue this man for suing? I’m very sorry for his accident and loss of ability. It’s a tough lesson for him to take responsibility and to re-direct his energies to the positive and move on. When he does, there will be a whole new group of people and amazing experiences awaiting him. Does he really want his legacy to be that of “closing snowboard parks around the world”?

  2. I can only agree to the prior comments. Sure the fate of the young man is a tragedy, but he should look for cause in his own actions. Sueing the ski area will only ruin the sport for others who act responsible enough to do it without ruining their health.

  3. Its obvious of the risks you take when snowboarding. You are responsible for your own actions. He worked at a resort and knew about waivers. I’m so tired of all these sue happy people. I’m sorry that he had the accident and is now a quadriplegic. Its a horrible event that happened but you shouldn’t sue the resort as we all know the risks we are taking once we step foot on that mountain.

  4. He made a poor decision to ride above his ability and now feels that someone has to pay for his bad choices.
    The act of purchasing the lift ticket indemnifies the resort and it’s employees.
    We live in a time where huge financial payouts are the norm , some people are just not going to take responsibility for their own actions and feel like they are entitled to be lazy and rich at the expense of others . It doesn’t matter if he didn’t read the waiver, just having it In his possession should meet the legal requirement of acceptance of the dangers of skiing and snowboarding . It not news that skiing and snowboarding is inherently dangerous. Do we as humans need to Be told constantly that life is full of dangerous activities and that we can’t be expected to make good decisions about what we do ? Time to take responsibility and be responsible humans .

  5. I feel horrible for this guy, but if he can read there should be no need to go any further with this lawsuit. Besides, what’s the point in having a Supreme Court of their decision can be over turned?
    I’m just glad I’ve been able to ski for a lot of years b/c these garbage lawsuits are going to banish this wonderful sport

  6. Sorry for his injury but this is another case (this time in Canada) of somebody filing a lawsuit rather than taking responsibility for their own actions. Everybody knows that terrain parks are inherently dangerous, it is obvious and you shouldn’t have to be told it is dangerous. I am somewhat surprised ski resorts actually build terrain parks in this litigious world. However ski resorts will eliminate terrain parks if they continue to face unwarranted lawsuits as a result of their use.

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