An unusual lift accident has resulted in a Michigan lawsuit. The families of two children who were injured in a fall after a ski lift malfunctioned have filed a lawsuit against Mt. Holly Resort in Michigan. Gabrielle Adams and Charlie Young were both sixth graders last January, and both were members of the school’s ski and snowboard club. The group took buses to Mt. Holly on Jan. 9 for a ski trip.
Gabrielle, Charlie and a third student were loaded onto a ski lift and began the ride up the ski slope when the bench on which the children were seated suddenly detached, causing all three children to plummet approximately 25 feet to the hard-packed snow below.
Gabrielle broke her wrist and two ribs in the fall, and she suffered substantial bruising. She has persistent neck and back pain and mental anguish, the lawsuit states. Charlie was knocked unconscious and suffered head trauma, a concussion, a broken wrist and mental anguish. He was motionless immediately following the fall, “and Gabrielle was terrified that Charlie had died,” the suit states.
Gabrielle and Charlie are both experienced skiers who were familiar with chair lifts. The families claim that the three children were not engaged in any horseplay preceding the incident, and all were seen properly sitting, facing the front and making no abrupt movements.
It will be interesting to see whether the lawsuit survives since it is almost certain that a release or waiver was executed for each student participating in the ski club.