A federal jury trial of the claims of Glenn and Leya Oswald, of Texas, concluded last week with the jury finding in favor of Snow King Resort. Judgment was entered in favor of Snow King and Federal District Judge Alan Johnson has ordered the plaintiffs to pay Snow King’s litigation costs. The judge dismissed the case Wednesday.
The Oswalds filed the case in December 2011 claiming the resort’s “negligence and gross negligence” was responsible for their son’s 50-foot fall from the Cougar chairlift during a Jackson Hole Ski Club program in 2009. Their son, then 7 years old, was not properly seated in the lift chair when it started to move, and the Oswalds blamed on the inattention of the ski club coach and the lift operator.
Snow King argued successfully at trial that the boy’s fall was the result of the natural risks of skiing and that their claims were barred from court by the waivers the Oswalds signed before the program began. The jury instructions suggest the jury determined that the fall was an inherent risk of the sport. The jury deliberated less than an hour.