Ski & Snowboard Litigation

Winter Sports Injury Litigation

We began litigating ski and ski-lift injury cases in 1989. We have represented skiers, ski-lift manufacturers, ski areas, ski and snowboard makers and a host of other parties in connection with some of the most novel and important snow sports litigation in the history of Colorado. Our work in this area has also involved claims in Wyoming and Utah. Our cases have included, by way of example only, the following:

  • Ski racing injuries
  • Chair lift misloading and unloading injuries
  • Chair lift falls
  • Gondola injuries
  • Ski and snowboard jump injuries
  • Snowboard helmet litigation
  • Bobsled injuries
  • Tree impact cases
  • Skier-skier and snowboarder-skier collisions
  • Snowmobile accidents

Corporate and Individual Clients

Our clients have included Vail Associates, Beaver Creek Ski Area, Burton Snowboards, Poma of America and a host of component part manufacturers. We have also represented ski racers, skiers, snowboarders, photographers and others in injury-related litigation arising from accidents on the slopes. In one case, we were retained by a large underwriter to examine the risks of injury for each of the activities at an international ski event at a major ski area for the purposes of evaluating the feasibility of insuring the event.

Ski and Snowboard Equipment Knowledge

Several of our attorneys are former competitive skiers and excellent snowboarders. We are quite at home on the slopes, working with ski patrol and accident invetigators and reconstructionists. We have worked with a number of ASTM standards (including ASTM F2040, governing snow sports helmets) and ANSI standards, as well as UBC standards applicable to stairways and ramps at the base of ski areas.

We understand ski and snowboard equipment and manufacturing techniques. We even represented the inventor of the world’s most popular step-in snowboard binding in a dispute regarding the patent on that technology.

Litigation Techniques and Expert Witnesses

We have worked with most of the best experts in the United States in the reconstruction of ski, ski lift and snowboard accidents, including the following categories of experts:

  • Medical doctors
  • Helmet experts
  • Human factors experts
  • Binding experts
  • Accident reconstructionists specializing in “on the slope” injuries
  • Ski jump experts
  • Ski patrol experts
  • Ski lift experts and ski lift designers
  • Sports physiologists
  • Fluid mechanics experts

Chair Lifts and Gondolas

We are familiar with the engineering principles and manufacturing techniques utilized in the making of all kinds of ski lifts, including chairlifts and gondolas, as well as the safety equipment that comes with them. We have litigated issues related to the ANSI standards governing lift operation and we have worked to develop prototypes of lift control devices following accidents. We have interacted with the Passenger Tramway Safety Board and the Ski Industry Association to strengthen our knowledge and expertise in these areas.

The key to success in litigation is to be realistic and careful in terms of how a "win" is defined under the circumstances of any given dispute. No two cases are exactly alike. Remember that no attorney or firm can guarantee success according to any arbitrary standard or in terms of a favorable result at trial. Whether or not to try a case or settle a case is a decision a client makes with the advise of an attorney, and no attorney can guarantee anything about the outcome of a civil case. Any case, tried to a jury or a court, might be resolved unfavorably. Trials are inherently unpredictable. Statements contained on this website regarding the ability of the professionals at Godfrey | Johnson, P.C., are based upon good faith perceptions of our abilities demonstrated over years of practice, and are not intended to imply that the attorneys have never lost a case or that we can assure that any particular case will be won at trial or on motions. The best way to evaluate any case is to communicate about it in depth with qualified legal counsel, providing all relevant information to the attorney. It is dangerous to withhold facts from an attorney, and can lead to the delivery of legal advise that is fundamentally flawed. No attorney can prevent this from happening, as attorneys all must rely to some extent upon the information that is provided to them by their clients. The best way to evaluate an attorney is by that attorney's track record, and ours is open for discussion in any specific field. Our abilities as described on this website are based upon experience in actual cases, which have been successful more often than not. ©2015 Godfrey | Johnson, P.C. All rights reserved.

We made law in Colorado

In cases involving chair lift injuries as well as the Ski Safety & Liability Act.
Snowboard case
Helmet case
Bobsled case