A couple cannot seek damages against a Sagamore Hills teen and his family over a collision on the slopes of Boston Mills Ski Resort, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled this week.
Essentially, the court’s 6-1 decision finds that skiers must assume “ordinary risks” that come with the activity, including potential injury.
Skiers Angel and Eugene Horvath of Rocky River had sued the family of 14-year-old David Ish after the teen snowboarder collided on the slopes with Angel Horvath in March 2007. Horvath suffered a fractured leg, according to court records. Her suit claimed the teen was speeding down the hill and not watching for others.
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Brenda Burnham Unruh dismissed the suit. She found the collision was not reckless, but rather a result of the risk skiers take on the slopes.
The Horvaths’ lawsuit was revived in a 2-1 decision by the 9th Ohio District Court of Appeals, which found in 2011 that the common pleas court did not consider the potential recklessness of the teen before the collision.
The Supreme Court essentially sided with the late Unruh, who died in 2011, and said existing law precludes one skier from suing another skier under normal conditions.
“We agree that collisions between skiers are an inherent risk of skiing,” Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton wrote. “Accordingly, we hold that skiers assume the ordinary risks of skiing, which include collisions with other skiers, and cannot recover for an injury unless it can be shown that the other skier’s actions were reckless or intentional.”