Salvini v. Ski Lifts Inc.

Award: $31 million Verdict (55% inherent risk of sport and comparative fault)

Attorneys: Jack Connelly

Case Summary:
23 year old Kenneth (Kenny) Salvini went off a defective table top jump at the Summit at Snoqualmie ski resort and overshot the landing, suffering severe injuries. He broke his back and leg and was rendered a C-3, 4 quadriplegic. The Summit at Snoqualmie had not safely designed, constructed or maintained the table top jump, resulting in many previous injuries to other skiers and snowboarders and Kenny’s quadriplegia.

In the News

“Jury awards paralyzed skier $14 million” – Seattle Post Intelligencer

“Jury gives $14 million to skier paralyzed at Snoqualmie” – Seattle Times

Case Details

The jump was defective in many ways: the landing was a flat surface rather than the incline of the hill; the approach to the jump was too long, causing excessive acceleration; the take off ramp was concaved, causing backward rotation, and; the landing area was too short.

The jump was improperly designed, built, and maintained, causing numerous accidents. There were 44 documented incidents on this particular jump prior to Kenny’s incident, 22 of which were of the same nature (overshooting the landing). Many of those injured on this jump, including Kenny, were experienced skiers/snowboarders, and had complained about the dangerous state of the jump. Nevertheless, ski patrol and park maintenance failed to take any action other than posting a small, easily overlooked sign that read “Overshooting the landing can lead to injury”. The jump was never properly designed, instead “eyeballed” by the park maintenance team. After its construction there were no attempts made to repair the dangerous jump.

Kenny’s fall resulted in substantial damages for past and future pain, suffering and mental anguish, permanent disability, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses and attendant care expenses. Similarly, Kenny’s parents, Edward and Jeanne, sought damages for economic loss, medical expenses, attendant care expenses, anguish and mental suffering.