C.D. and others in her family were standing in open sight on the Sugar N' Spice trail, at the Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort. Along that trail, uphill from the site of this accident, there were numerous "slow" signs and "slow ski/slide zone" signs advising skiers and riders to proceed slowly along that run. Defendant, P.K., chose to ride his snowboard at a very high rate of speed down Sugar and Spice. He executed a jump and collided with C.D. at a very high rate of speed, knocking her to the ground, rendering her unconscious, and inflicting a traumatic brain injury. The defendant admitted in writing, both in his Collision Statement and his deposition, that he was "going pretty fast." This despite the clear markings on the slope and on the map that "Sugar N' Spice" is a Slow Ski Area, and is designated by signs at the top of the Grandview Express as the "Easiest Way Down."
P.K. was a season pass holder at Sierra -at-Tahoe. He testified that he had previously snow boarded at Sierra-at-Tahoe during the 2004-2005 season "five or six" times prior to the accident. Following the incident, and before patrol arrived, a witness reported that P.K. left the scene. Counsel for plaintiff effectively argued that flight is an indication of guilt. Patrollers reported that C.D. was unconscious and unresponsive during the entire evacuation.
After immobilizing C.D. and transporting her on a snow cat, Sierra-at-Tahoe transferred her via helicopter to Washoe Medical Center. There, she was diagnosed with a severe closed head injury, a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage on the right side of her brain, and a subdural hemorrhage on the left side of her brain, causing a 5 mm shift. She also sustained a Level III liver injury. She was maintained on respiratory support in ICU for 36 hours and was extubated after 72 hours. She was transferred to a facility closer to her family, then admitted to rehabilitation unit for fifteen days. Ultimately, she was discharged with a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury and secondary cognitive deficits. The total billings for the evacuation and hospital treatment were $235,088.77.
On May 5, 2005, as counsel for C.D. we filed the action in California. In July, 2006 the case settled for $700,000.00.
Past results are no guarantee of future results.