Not more than five years ago, a man was riding a ski lift at the Sugarloaf ski resort when his chair fell 30 feet to hit the ground below. The fall injured both the man and his son seriously.
Last month, another Sugarloaf chairlift malfunctioned, moved backward and several skiers jumped off the lift out of fear. The ski lift issues definitely created some controversy about the safety of some of our nation's most popular and aging ski resorts.
According to the man who was hurt in the ski lift accident, almost five years ago, something needs to be done and this most recent incident should draw more attention to the matter. He said that the Sugarloaf mountain resort has been in business for a long time and it is old.
Meanwhile, Sugarloaf resort officials claimed that they had competed a preliminary investigation and discovered that the backward-moving ski lift suffered from a malfunctioning gearbox that disabled two braking systems. A third backup brake also failed to deploy, but a swiftly acting attendant deployed an emergency brake that ultimately stopped the lift -- but not before the chairs slid backward approximately 450 feet.
The incident caused injury to three skiers, all of whom required hospital care. Fortunately, none of the injuries was life-threatening; however, the cost of the skiers' care and recovery will likely be enormous. Also, there are no reports as to whether the injured skiers will achieve a complete recovery from their injuries.
The law protects those who suffer injury at ski resorts due to no fault of their own. The law provides avenues by which injured individuals can seek financial restitution to pay for medical care and other damages in the event of a tragic injury caused by a ski resort's negligence.
Source: ABC News, "Resort: Backup Brakes Didn't Deploy on Maine Ski Lift," David Sharp, Associated Press, March. 22, 2015