A Court has awarded a mountain biker more than $150,000 in compensation after he fell from a chairlift at Ski Bromont in 2014.
Vincent Jauvin wanted to take one last run just before the chairlift closed on Aug 7, 2014 so he boarded the lift at 6:30pm but it stopped 10 metres above a dirt road halfway up the mountain. Jauvin, who was 23 at the time, waited for 15 minutes but to see if the lift would move but it stayed in position. He knew the lift would not reopen until 10 am the next morning and had no water, food, warm clothes or phone on his person. Waiting would have meant exposure to the elements and possible hypothermia so he attempted to climb along the cable to the nearest pylon and climb down from there.
The chair apparently stopped around 10 metres away from the nearest pylon, a distance which Jauvin apparently felt he could cross comfortably. However, while climbing, a group of hikers passed underneath. Jauvin called down to the hikers to call 911, which they did, but he lost his grip about a metre from the pylon and fell to the road. He was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion, two dislocated elbows, a broken wrist, sprained ankle, cracked ribs and broken eye socket.
Jauvin sued Ski Bromont for $198,545 arguing that operators forgot he was on the lift and that meant he had to take drastic action. Bromont argued that Jauvin was at fault for attempting to climb down and that if he had waited the hikers would have been able to help him. Quebec Superior Court Judge Francois Toth rejected Ski Bromont's argument and ordered them to pay $152,579.39 plus legal fees
The ruling reads: "Ski Bromont failed in its obligation to ensure that the rider mounted on a chair of the ski lift arrived at the landing stage so he could get off. Clearly there was a communication error between the boarding attendant and the loading dock."
The full court ruling is here