Ski accident claims - Have you been involved in a ski accident?

The recent decision in the case of Anderson v M and J Lyotier & Portejoie (14.11.2008) has highlighted the responsibility of those involved in the leisure industry and in particular in skiing activities that proper review of procedures and risk assessments are carried out and that instructors are aware of their responsibilities to assess skill levels before activities are undertaken.

Mr Anderson sustained serious injuries in a ski accident on 7 February 2004 in the resort of Puy St Vincent, which left him tetraplegic.

The ski accident claim for compensation centred on whether Jerome Portejoie, the instructor, should have permitted Mr Anderson to ski in off-piste terrain with trees. In the course of his descent Mr Anderson lost control and collided with one of the trees.

In finding that the French ski instructor was liable to pay Mr Anderson more than £1million in damages for his ski accident claim, the Judge emphasised that, whilst in this case the ski instructor had failed to take care of the safety of Mr Anderson, skiing is an activity which is “an inherently risky past time and accidents causing injuries, sometimes very serious, will occur, more often than not without negligence being established on the part of anyone involved”.

The ski accident claim was facilitated by the use of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 which brought the action in the UK rather than France.

I wanted to take the opportunity to express my thanks to you for your professional attitude and handling of the claim throughout this tragic case. It is in cases like this where the compensation can never compensate for the loss suffered, but hopefully it will help in some way to move forward.

Third party insurer

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