Business Law Case Study

Topics: Skiing, Ski touring, Telemark skiing Pages: 5 (1437 words) Published: November 27, 2014
Business Law Case Study
Module 4
PLAINTIFF'S STATEMENT:
The Parties – Alex Johnson vs. Bethlehem Ice Solutions
 
Opening Argument
 
Those familiar with skiing know that there are risks involved when one chooses to participate in the sport.  Those risks, however, should be associated with self-inflicted harm caused by mistakes that a skier may make and not unforeseen obstacles and dangerous situations.  The injuries sustained by Alex Johnson on the slopes at Bethlehem Ice Solutions (BIS) were not self-inflicted; far from it.  They were the result of negligence on the part of BIS who failed to mark boundaries that separates the slopes and caused Craig to crossover onto another slope, walking directly into Alex’s path and colliding into him, causing severe bodily harm.  

Key Facts of the Case
 
Alex was injured on the slopes at Bethlehem Ice Solutions (BIS) when he collided into Craig who walked into his path while he was skiing.  The defense may argue contributory negligence but it is a fact that Alex exercised reasonable duty and care while skiing but could not avoid Craig.  Defense may also argue assumption of the risk, however, Alex is aware that skiing is a dangerous sport that can inflict bodily harm but he exercised the proper caution while skiing and should not have to be subjected to obstacles and dangerous situations due to the negligence of BIS.  The legal principle Causation – cause in fact - comes into play here because Alex would not have been injured but for the negligent actions of BIS.  

Craig was able to cross over onto the slope where Alex was skiing because of negligence on the part of BIS who failed to correct their poorly designed slopes with clear boundaries in order to prevent skiers being able to cross over.  Also, under Subdivision 7 and also subdivision 8 and 14 of New York Code Article 18, BIS is responsible for developing and maintaining a written policy for situations involving the reckless conduct of skiers, which includes procedures for approaching and warning skiers of reckless conduct.  Because of their lack of adherence to this code, there were no BIS personnel on the slope to stop Craig from acting recklessly and crossing over into Alex’s path.  

Craig decided to walk across the slope due to the difficulty he encountered while skiing on a slope that was originally earmarked as a less difficult slope to ski on.  He was instructed to use this slope by BIS employees, Dan and Abby.  They sent him down a slope that was more difficult than what he was capable of because they were not properly informed by their employer about the changing conditions of the slope due to the recent snowstorm.  Dan and Abby did not implement risk reduction. Properly trained ski staff should be aware of changes in ski conditions due to the weather and the season.  BIS has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for its guests and workers.  It is also liable for the actions of its employees, Dan and Abby because the employees’ actions were for the benefit of the employer.  

BIS is guilty of breach of duty of care because it failed in its duty to maintain its slopes and did not provide visible information boards stating which slopes were open or closed and the degree of difficulty of each slope.  As ski operators, BIS has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for its guests and workers and is obligated to operate under New York Code Article 18: Safety in Skiing Code. Section 18-103.  Section 5 of the code states that an information board or boards should be displayed showing at minimum the location of tramways, slopes or trails, the status of each trail – open or closed, the relative degree of difficulty of each slope or trail, and the general surface condition of each slope or trail.  

Damages
 
As a result of BIS’ negligence, Alex Johnson suffered extensive injuries including physical impairment and has had to undergo excruciating rehabilitation.  Because of past and future pain and...
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