Bill Keville recently achieved quick victory for a ski area facing claims by an injured skier, and he did it by relying on precedent which he himself had a hand in creating over two decades earlier!
The plaintiff sustained severe leg injuries when he fell after encountering ice on the slope, and initially filed suit against the ski area operator, claiming the trail should have been closed. With help from Shannon Doherty and Mike Byrne, Bill successfully moved to dismiss the claim, arguing that the operator owed no duty to remedy the condition because ice is deemed to be an inherent risk in the sport under the Massachusetts Ski Safety Statute (M.G.L. c. 143).
While the first motion was pending, however, another judge permitted the plaintiff to amend his complaint to name individual employees as additional defendants. The plaintiff argued that the statute applied only to the operator and did not shield the employees, but Bill persuaded the Court to dismiss those claims, as well. The decision was largely based on one of the seminal cases interpreting the statute – Saldarini v. Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Inc., 422 Mass. 683 (1996) – which involved a summary judgment decision in a case Bill himself had defended 24 years earlier (with some appellate help from Bob Powers and Mike Byrne). Congratulations (again) Bill -- experience makes all the difference!
Practice Areas: Recreational Liability