By now you’ve probably heard the news about the accident that occurred on Tuesday at Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Resort in Maine that left eight people injured and more than 150 people trapped on a lift when it derailed. CNN.com has reported that two state inspectors think wind played a “contributing role”, although they are still investigating other potential factors.
In addition to the high winds, News.com.au is reporting that the ski resort has admitted that it knew there was a problem with the lift just before the accident occurred. The lift had been closed earlier in the day by lift operators, but then re-opened to accommodate the holiday and winter season crowds.
But when a maintenance request was called in, mechanics could see that the cables that connect the tower chairlifts were working their way out of their normal position. Mechanics began to operate the lift slowly in an attempt to help those who were already on the lift to get off. When the cables slipped off their track entirely, five chairs tumbled into the snow below.
Although authorities are continuing to investigate the accident, News.com.au reports that the lift had been scheduled to be replaced or refurbished in the next few years.
There will most likely be many questions that will need to be answered about the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Resort incident. One that may arise is: who may be liable? Here in Pennsylvania, premises liability is defined as the liability of either the property owner, or, the party responsible for maintaining the property. If someone is injured as the result of a dangerous condition on the property, the property owner or party responsible for maintaining the property may be held legally liable.
Premises liability laws can be confusing and difficult to understand. If you have been injured on residential or commercial property, you may have a case. Contact the premises liability attorneys at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.