A skier who lost the use of a kidney after an allegedly drunken snowboarder slammed into her is suing the snowboarder and Mt. Hood Skibowl, a resort just outside Portland, Oregon, for $900,000.
Maria Stanila’s lawsuit describes what it claims is “A Ski Bowl Culture of Alcohol-Fueled Adrenaline From The Top Down.” The suit claims that the ski resort has a “permissive attitude” toward alcohol that has created a situation where “intoxicated patrons ski and snowboard side-by-side with sober patrons, including women and children.”
The resort plans to “vigorously defend” itself against the suit, which “has no merit to it” responded lawyers for the resort. Skibowl said that the suit’s characterization of Skibowl’s attitude toward intoxicated skiing is entirely inaccurate, that Skibowl employees won’t let anyone who is visibly intoxicated on the lifts. And if someone is seen skiing while drunk, employees will escort that person off of the premises.
The lawsuit alleges that on April 7, 2012, Skibowl served Kyle “Roundhouse” Sullivan alcohol while he was visibly intoxicated. The 30-year-old also had cans of beer on him when he attempted to pass Stanila from behind at a high rate of speed on a beginner run in the resort’s Lower Bowl, the suit says. Sullivan then crashed into Stanila.
Stanila suffered damage to her liver and gall bladder, and her right kidney no longer functions, the suit states. She also suffered strains and sprains to her back, headaches, trouble sleeping and nausea.
The suit states that Stanila, who was 35 at the time, was undergoing fertility treatments so she could become pregnant. But she was forced to stop her treatments because of her injuries and now she “may never successfully become pregnant,” the suit states.
What makes the case unusual is the personal nature of some of the allegations. The suit claims that Skibowl’s owner, Kirk Hanna, has “led by example,” then refers to Hanna’s guilty pleas to driving under the influence of intoxicants and hit-and-run driving for a May 2010 incident in Southwest Portland.
Witnesses reported that Hanna was weaving around traffic at an estimated 80 mph shortly before he struck a bicyclist near the west end of the Sellwood Bridge, then drove off, leaving the cyclist sprawled in the road. The cyclist suffered fractures to his jaw, scapula, tibia and 13 broken teeth. Hanna paid him $500,000.
The suit also claims that Skibowl “was on notice” that Sullivan could be a problem because Sullivan had said he had been “previously cut-off and/or ejected from Ski Bowl’s bar for his over-consumption of alcohol and dangerous skiing.”