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Family Files Lawsuit against Ski Resort after Teen was forced to Choose: Jump or Freeze

On February 14, 2016, a teen snowboarder jumped 30 feet off a ski lift at Sugar Mountain Resort in North Carolina, to avoid freezing to death. He suffered frost bite and broken bones.

His family recently filed a lawsuit against the ski resort. According to court documents, the lift operator initiated daily closing protocol, including removing the safety gate from the lift, which would automatically stop the lift if a passenger or skier did not disembark at the top. Because of that, the young man went around the bullwheel and began going back down the mountain. When the lift was shut down for the evening, the chair came to a halt over a heavily wooded area, nearly 30 feet in the air, leaving the teen stranded.

Snow-making equipment and high winds drowned out his cries for help. After stranded for about two hours, and worried about surviving the night, the teen jumped, falling to the frozen ground below. He was knock unconscious when he fell, but eventually came to and crawled in pain until he reached help, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs contend that resort workers “were dismissive” when the teen’s mother reported him missing. Instead of immediately launching a rescue effort, they said staff speculated the young man “probably wandered off the ski slope or trails.” The complaint also alleges that resort staff were negligent in failing to check the lift for any riders before shutting it down. It was snowing and about 14 degrees, with a wind chill of about 8 degrees when the lift closed. The family seeks at least $75,000 in damages.

In addition to physical and emotional suffering, this family may also be facing medical bills and other expenses associated with this terrible ordeal. If they are not prepared financially to handle these additional expenses without assistance, one place to turn is Lawsuit Financial.

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