According to the Durango Herald, a woman is suing Silverton Mountain after she fell off the lift and was paralyzed from the waist down in March 2016. Durango, CO resident Gail Goehrig was riding up the chairlift with her daughter as a foot passenger to sight see. As she was exiting the chairlift, it knocked her off the platform and caused her to fall 10 feet head first onto the rocks below.
Sadly, Gail suffered severe injuries from the fall and had to be airlifted to the hospital. In December 2016, Gail and her lawyers filed a lawsuit against Silverton Mountain for failure to adhere to safety protocols. At the time of the accident, Gail’s lawyers stated that there weren’t any railings or safety equipment on the platform that she was dropped off on. Along with that, they claimed that there weren’t any employees at the top of the lift or any emergency stop mechanisms.
Gail’s lawyers also claimed that Silverton Mountain failed to adhere to a 2002 order from the Colorado Passenger Tram Safety Board, which stated that they needed to “install rails or snow ramps on the sides of the unloading ramp to reduce the risk of injury to passengers that fail to unload properly.” Silverton Mountain’s attorneys claim that the resort isn’t liable for her injuries, as she signed a waiver before getting on the lift. That didn’t hold up in court though, as 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Jeffery Wilson found grounds for a trial. It’s set for September 2018 in San Juan County, CO. Due to her injuries, Gail has incurred more than $1 million in lost wages and medical expenses.