On April 16, 2000, Tamara Sale was a member of the Women”s Synchronized Ski Team. She and five other teammates were skiing on Espresso, below lift 4 on Vail Mountain. The area is designated for Slow Skiing.
Sale was in uniform, as were all other members of the team. They were skiing as a team, under control, directly down the fall line.
Mark Dixon, from a full stop and uphill of the plaintiff and her teammates, began skiing a traverse from Christmas trail, cutting across the slope under Lift #4. Dixon was heading either for the western side of the base of Lift #4, or for the loading area for the Wildwood Express Lift (Chair #3).
Although Sale and her teammates were plainly visible, Dixon failed to see them. He cut through the line of the ski team, while he was traveling at a high velocity. One of the team members evaded Dixon, but Dixon then crashed into Tamara Sale, while he was still traveling at a very high speed, causing Tamara Sale to suffer multiple trauma, and extensive serious injuries.
Her injuries included a severely comminuted left distal radial ulnar fracture with dislocation of the distal radioulnar joint, which required open reduction and internal fixation, a comminuted depressed left tibial plateau fracture requiring open reduction and internal fixation, a right mandibular angle fracture and a left mandibulocondyle intra-articular multifragment fracture, both of which required open reduction and internal fixation, a closed head injury, with mild verbal learning and sequencing difficulties a left calf thrombosis, anemia; and impaired sensation of the left hand, secondary to a traction injury of the median, ulnar, and radial nerves distal to the wrist.
Before entering the trail on which Tamara Sale and her teammates were skiing, Dixon had a duty to yield and to avoid hitting those skiers, including Sale, who were already moving on the slope. C.R.S. §§ 33-44-109(8). He had an additional and separate duty to yield to skiers already moving on the trail before he began his traverse from a "stationary position." Id.
Defendant had an additional and separate duty to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other skiers such as Sale pursuant to C.R.S.§§33-44-109(2).
Pursuant to C.R.S. §§ 33-44-109(1), defendant Dixon had the sole responsibility for knowing the range of his own ability to negotiate any slope or trail and ski within the limits of such ability.
Defendant Dixon breached this duty by skiing excessively fast, and on terrain on which he could not safely control his speed.
Dixon owed a general duty of due care to other skiers, both under common law and pursuant to the general rule that each skier should "refrain from acting in a manner which may cause or contribute to the injury of the skier or others". Id.
Past results are no guarantee of future results.