Idaho House Backs New Legal Shield For Ski Areas

February 27, 2014

House members voted 61-8 to give ski areas expanded protections from lawsuits that arise when their customers are hurt in terrain parks or swept up in in-bounds avalanches.

Tuesday’s vote moves the measure to the Senate.

The Idaho Ski Areas Association fears liability arising from skiers and snowboarders using, among other things, man-made rails, jumps and hits that have become popular in recent years.

sking_2Rep. Luke Malek of Coeur d’Alene, the Republican sponsor, said those using ski areas – and riding terrain parks – need to accept the inherent risk that accompanies their activities.

The measure’s foes including Republican Rep. Lynn Luker and Democratic Rep. Grant Burgoyne, both Boise lawyers, argued the bill went too far in shielding ski areas from responsibility should operators’ negligence result in injury or death.

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