Ever since a recent judgment by the Court of Appeal, mountain biking safety measures need to be heightened. This judgment reviews one rendered by the Superior Court last year and is summarized and commented by Me Charles Guay.
The Court of Appeal states, in Ski Bromont.com vs. Jauvin, that mountain bike resorts have a duty to ensure that the chairlift is empty when the resort closes even if this obligation is not written in black and white in the contract entered into by the cyclist and the mountain resort.
This implicit obligation imposed on recreation resorts stems from the duty of safety they owe to the customers of their resorts.
In Mr. Vincent Jauvin’s case, the Court concludes that the resort was at fault by omitting to verify that the chairlift was empty upon closing the resort. And, although his attempt to rescue himself was unsuccessful, Mr. Jauvin is not held liable for the injuries and damages sustained as he would not have sustained them had the resort verified the complete absence of users in the chairlift. The rescue attempt does not constitute a new act that breaks the causal link between Ski Bromont.com’s omission and the damages sustained by Mr. Jauvin.
A total of $152,579.39 in damages were granted to Mr. Gauvin for the injuries and damages sustained. In addition, as his condition was not stable when the case was heard in Superior Court, Mr. Jauvin is entitled to additional damages according to developments in his physical condition.
Consequently, mountain resorts will now have to ensure that their policies and practices regarding the use of chairlifts comply with the requirements established by the Court of Appeal.
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