Suing for Collision With a Ski Lift Tower
In Kent v. Alpine Valley Ski Area, Inc, Mich App; NW2d (Docket No. 210293, issued 5/5/2000, slip op, p 3), however, the Court affirmed the trial court's grant of summary disposition after the plaintiff, in attempting to get on a chair lift, became entangled in the lift and was dragged.
In his complaint, the plaintiff argued that the defendants were negligent by:
(1) failing to direct plaintiff to a slower chair lift;
(2) failing to slow or stop the chair before loading;
(3) failing to stop the lift as soon as the "mis-load" occurred;
(4) using a chair lift with "an excessive range of motion about its axis,";
(5) using a chair lift unequipped with an adequate stop button. Id., slip op at 2.
The Kent panel ruled as follows:
. . . the language of the statue itself establishes that plaintiff's injury comes within the immunity provisions. the statute says that collisions with ski lift towers and their components constitute a danger which is obvious and necessary and which the skier accepts. Also, . . . when, as here, injuries occur as a result of any of the statutorily enumerated dangers, the reasonableness of the skier's or the operator's conduct is rendered irrelevant. the cause of plaintiff's injury was the collision with the chair lift. There are no restrictions placed on the immunity for injuries arising from collisions with ski towers and their components, and the trial court did not err in granting summary disposition to defendants. Id., slip op at 6.
Kent, then, holds that injuries resulting from any collision with a ski lift tower or component are not actionable, regardless of the plaintiff's claims of negligence.