Articles Tagged with skiing

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a 16-year-old German exchange student who fell head first into a pocket of loose snow while skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort will go to trial, ruled a federal judge.

According to the Claims Journal lawsuit, filed in 2013, also names the exchange agency and host family, contending gross negligence. The plaintiffs are his mother, Patricia Birkhold-Waschle, his father, Raimund Waschle, and his brother, Philip Waschle.

The lawsuit said Niclas Waschle was skiing alone on the edge of a groomed trail on Dec. 29, 2010, when he fell headfirst into a tree well and suffocated. The family is seeking damages and compensation, plus medical expenses.

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A Maine ski resort responsible for two chairlift mechanical failures that led to injuries in the past five years is working to prevent any further accidents, reports the Claim Journal. Sugarloaf is spending $1.5 million to make improvements after a malfunctioning chairlift moved in reverse last March, injuring seven skiers.

Workers are replacing the drivetrain on the King Pine chairlift and have replaced the gearbox on the nearby Timberline lift. They also upgraded the brakes on seven other lifts to prevent rollbacks. Another aging lift was removed altogether.

“We’re making these lifts as safe as possible with the most modern standards and components,” said Rich “Crusher” Wilkinson, vice president of mountain operations. “We don’t want to have any more lift incidents here.”

Nationwide, such incidents are rare. Skiers are far more likely to be hurt driving to the resort or skiing than riding on lifts, according to the National Ski Areas Association.

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