We regularly hear from hurt skiers who feel that their ski instructor caused or contributed to the accident which caused the injuries. But this is a first report of a ski instructor suing her own student.

A former Aspen ski instructor has reached a settlement with the family of the boy she sued after the child, who was enrolled in her class, allegedly collided with her during a ski lesson in 2013.

At the time, Kathryn Parkin was an employee of Aspen Ski Co. In March 2013, Parkin was on a ski hill with a class that included Michelle Menaker’s son. A skier had fallen uphill of the group, distracting the boy when he collided with Parkin, according to the lawsuit. He allegedly was skiing around 35 mph.

Parkin sued Michelle Menaker and her son in March for negligence. Parkin alleged that Michelle Menaker, a Chicago celebrity gossip reporter, was negligent because she enrolled her son “in a class he was not competent and/or qualified to take,” the lawsuit said.

This is an unusual assertion, since most parents look to the ski school and professional instructors for proper assessment of a child’s skill level.

The Menaker family was represented by an insurance defense lawyer. Parkin testified in her deposition that it was the ski instructors as a group that assigned class levels to students, not the parents. After deposing Parkin, Menaker’s lawyer file a motion for summary judgment on Sept. 30th, but before a Pitkin County District Court judge could rule the case settled on Oct. 29th. Terms of that deal were not disclosed.

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