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New York Ski Resort May Face Premise Liability Suit

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Premise liability is a complex legal theory that holds the owners of property responsible for accidents that occur on their property. There are many examples of premise liability, but the most common involve slip-and-fall accidents. When evaluating a premise liability case a Nassau County premises liability attorney considers a variety of factors, including the legal status of the visitor, the condition of the subject-property and the nature of the activities.

In a tragic sledding accident at the Mount Snow Ski Area, a New York man died after he suffered serious neck and head injuries. According to police, the accident occurred at the Carinthia Base Lodge. The 28-year-old victim was allegedly sledding on the lodges half-pipe when he descended the hill quickly and struck his head on a deck post. Although a rescue team attempted to help the young man, he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

In general, visitors to a property fall into one of four categories: invitees, social guests, licensees, and trespassers. For purposes directly or indirectly related to a commercial enterprise or business, a visitor to the property is typically considered an invitee. In such cases, the court considers factors including the visitor’s reason for entering the property, how the property was used, the foreseeability of the accident and efforts to prevent injuries.

It is also important to note that different states have different rules for apportioning damages in premise liability and negligence cases. In New York, for example, the court uses the concept of contributory negligence. Under the concept of contributory negligence, a plaintiff may be found partially responsible for their injuries. In such cases, the damages awarded will generally be reduced based on the percentage of fault assigned to that person.

Source: Rutland Herald, “Sledding accident kills New York man,” March 21, 2013

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