Buy ski pass, sign away your rights

Even when they're negligent, resorts may be covered by liability "waiver" written in fine print on the back of lift ticket, court finds

You may have missed this surprise decision from the Ontario Court of Justice, which dismissed the case of a snowboarder who sued Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, Ont. But Lawyers Weekly didn’t. The man had swung wide to avoid a mound of snow, only to collide with a snowmaking hydrant that was fixed to the ground, and had been obscured from view by the mound and fresh snowfall. The judge actually found that the resort had been negligent in failing to ensure the hydrant was visibly marked. But he also found that the standard exclusion from liability clause printed on the back of the boarders ticket–that’s right, the one you never read–negated the man’s case against the resort. Sports operators are still expected to uphold “fundamental terms” of these “contracts” with their customers, but the gist of the decision is clear: with a few words in tiny font, they are allowed a good deal of stupidity.

Lawyer’s Weekly