Injured Rider Unsuccessful in Lawsuit Against Whistler Bike Park

Jun 19, 2017 at 10:42
by Pinkbike Staff  
The B.C Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Whistler Blackcomb when a rider sued after being critically injured while riding the park in 2009, The Provence reports.

Blake Jamieson had signed the Whistler Bike Park waiver that all riders are required to sign before being allowed to ride the world-famous facilities but claimed that Whistler Blackcomb "failed to warn him of the risks involved" and was seeking compensation as a result.

Jamieson is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and had been a volunteer Bike Park Patroller for three years prior to the devastating accident that resulted in him now being in a wheelchair.

Loic Bruni on the rock drop on A-Line.

Loic Bruni, during the Crankworx Whistler Air DH, drops off the drop that caused the injury.

The accident took place on Whistler's world-famous A-Line rock drop—a feature that has a ride around and a number of options for dropping straight off it. It's claimed that Jamieson was attempting to pre-hop the drop—a move that takes considerable committment—but unfortunately, he caught his rear wheel on the end of the rock, causing the accident.

Despite being a volunteer patroller in the park prior to the accident, Jamieson claims that he "had no idea that a spinal-cord injury was possible and specifically that going over the handlebars was a common mechanism of injury”.

In her ruling, Justice Neena Sharma found that the Whistler Bike Park's warnings of risk were reasonable and that someone who signed the resort’s release would understand they were waiving their right to sue.

” … The Release is comprehensive, clear, and blunt. I do not see how any adult with basic reading skills could reasonably believe he or she retained the right to sue Whistler if they were injured using the park, even if Whistler was negligent,” Sharma wrote.

New rock drop launch pad.

The A-Line rock drop in question.

Jamieson's lead counsel, Scott Stanley, said the releases remove the legal incentive for companies to protect customers.

“Essentially anyone who has signed a waiver for any activity in B.C. should operate on the assumptions that they have no legal recourse against the provider even if their conduct is egregious,” he said in a written statement.

However, Robert Kennedy, counsel for the resort, noted that releases are unenforceable for minors, which he claims acts as “a huge incentive” to keep the premises safe. Kennedy said the case underscored why a release defense is important.

“If anyone had full knowledge and understanding of the risk of the sport it was the plaintiff in this case. And yet his theory of liability is: ‘Oh, I didn’t know I could get seriously hurt.’"

This is a big deal for anyone who recreates throughout B.C. drumming home that you are responsible for your actions, and that knowing the rights you're waiving is important to consider.


  • 426 3
 "I do not see how any adult with basic reading skills could reasonably believe he or she retained the right to sue Whistler" lol
  • 38 0
 Best quote i've read in a while haha
  • 154 4
 mtn biking has its inherent risks............if you can't accept those risks then stay on the couch. Even though I feel bad for this guy he's a tool for thinking he could sue.
  • 84 1
 My guess is he wasn't expecting to actually win any lawsuit, and that he was hoping for a settlement out of court. I feel for the guy, because this kind of life changing injury is a possibility for ALL of us, no matter how safe you ride. But he damn well knew the risks, and while I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, he now he needs to learn to live with the results.
  • 12 30
flag punknicehole (Jun 19, 2017 at 12:31) (Below Threshold)
 people these days are so entitled that he probably figured they just wanted his autograph and signed on the dotted line......... and then proceeded to adjust his sunglasses.
  • 119 1
 Just dislocatedand destroyed my ankle off of a jump called the tombstone in Idaho. No waiver no nothing but am I going to attempt to sue?! No because that could get the riding location shut down for other riders. It's my own fault for not scoping it out better.
  • 14 38
flag scotttherider (Jun 19, 2017 at 12:52) (Below Threshold)
 However may be filing a malpractice suite against the surgeon for Fucking up my foot. No feeling or movement in my toes now. Had feeling and movement between dislocation and surgery...
  • 61 0
 @punknicehole: Oh, those darn whipper-snapper millennials, with their fidget spinners and frivolous lawsuits.
  • 16 6
 @scotttherider: Way to drive up medical costs in the US. Ever stop to think that your so-called "destroyed ankle" caused severing of nerves as things were sliding around being un-"destroyed" down there.
  • 28 7
 I don't agree with her addition of "even in case of negligence"
If whistler has a trail crew out, or major modifications without proper signage etc and something happens its on them. Or if there's a big storm and major trial damage that doesn't get inspected and closed etc that's also on them.
  • 25 1
 @dcm6861: Pre-ride, re-ride then free-ride. Damn signs are everywhere. Even if a tree is down or there are major changes to a trail, it's still not black and white if the mountain should share any blame for injury. Only examples that come to mind would be if a build feature or chairlift fell apart due to negligence.
  • 5 15
flag scotttherider (Jun 19, 2017 at 15:21) (Below Threshold)
 @ski-or-die: like I said had feeling and movement went my foot was sideways. My orthopedist that cleaned the bone fragments and fixed the fractures in my foot after swelling went down from the first procedure is the one that encouraged me to seek mal-practice.
  • 10 1
 @dcm6861: I signed the waiver on the weekend and was left wondering how WB could legally excuse itself from negligence, as stated in the waiver. Getting hurt on a jump is one thing, since a reasonable person would expect a level of danger. But let's say a poorly constructed bridge falls down under the weight of a rider. Wouldn't the rider expect some duty of care by WB? Lawyers, I'd be interested in your take.
  • 6 0
 @DMal: I'm not a lawyer, but waivers are o it as good as the circumstances under which they get trotted out. If a poorly built/maintained structure caused injury, or a rental bike was in disrepair, then any judge would take that into consideration under a reasonable expectation of safety.

So I assume if something fell apart and directly resulted in injury, it would probably be a slam dunk for the plaintiff.
  • 4 0
 @MasterSlater: The waiver you sign actually says that WB can be negligent. It doesn't save them from gross negligence. Who decides the difference is the judge I guess?? It's the same waiver you sign for rafting, heli skiing, ziplining etc.
  • 17 1
 I fractured 2 vertebrae in my neck riding and had a few months rehab, it never even crossed my mind to sue anyone for my mistake. $hit happens! Such ridiculous litigious idiocy the self entitled middle class have.
  • 12 15
 @ski-or-die: really?? 'Way to drive up medical costs...'. Dude, the guy broke his damn ankle. How dare he destroy his ankle and go to the hospital!! What a selfish bastard of him to take that kind of action! You'd be in the same situation, keep it real
  • 7 2
 Love a judge getting mad at frivolous wastes of their time and taxpayer money! Sadly, US Insurance companies have the ability to sue on behalf of their clients, without their consent. I'd love to make a few jumps in my yard, but if my best friend got hurt and never dreamed of suing me, his insurance company could. Scary. Obviously NOT the case here... this guy was just trying to make some money. I can dream up a scenario where I'd sue Whistler... there's a gust of wind that knocks a tree down on Dirt Merchant in a blind landing, and the Bike Patrol is aware, but they just all gather around to watch riders smash into it, then they cheer and throw beer on you while you're gasping for air. Otherwise, ride at your own risk!!!!
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: I mean, i agree... I always take a chill pre-ride. especially in a park situation.
But I don't believe at all that a waiver gives them 100% exemption from negligence.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: I think this ruling made it pretty black and white that the mountain does not share blame
  • 8 2
 If someone sued wbp and forced them to shut down....I would need to know his name and address...just sayin.
  • 1 0
 @dcm6861: Ordinarily, you'd be right. If they were negligent you could sue; that's what lawsuits are for-recovering for injuries caused by another person's negligence. Waiver cases are significant for the very fact that by signing a waiver you are signing away your right to sue, even in the event of negligence.
  • 3 0
 @nomadned: I work in insurance claims, the only feasible circumstance where a legal case may have limited success would be in the case of documented negligence, for instance if a known rotten tree fell on the trail and caused injury upon impact and it was documented by grounds maintenance that the tree was 'at-risk', and then the tree fell ON someone. Or if a bridge/feature was known and documented to be faulty. Both instances would require Whistler to knowingly do nothing to rectify the problem or stop people riding the trail AFTER a reasonable or mandated maintenance/safety response time from when the situation was reported. H&S regs for the park will likely have expected response times for various issues/concerns that may arise and these would have to be blatantly ignored for a legal case to have grounds.

The key aspect being there would need to be a documented case of negligence against the bike park, word of mouth or hearsay would have no standing in court, especially when a waiver is concerned. A legal case would also only stand ground if the persons insurance company was chasing up their claim payout costs; a person claiming directly would be very likely have their case kicked out even based on good grounds, as they should have taken due care to get the appropriate insurance to cover such costs beforehand.

The fact that this guy tried to sue in his circumstance shows outright stupidity and desperation really, he worked at the place so would have been well aware of the skill levels required for the trail, the risks involved and what the feature he crashed on was like - not a chance!
  • 6 0
 @scotttherider: I blew up an ankle in January and though I'm still far from ok, I'd like to let you know that most of the feeling I lost in my toes is back now. I hope the same for you, but I also hope you can see things this way:

Your surgeon did their best for you with the disaster you brought in. They'd rather fix easy straight breaks, but they have to deal with what they get and do the best for it. There are always risks associated with surgery, these aren't necessarily the fault of the surgeon. Heal up quick, and more importantly well, and I hope your situation can end well without court.
  • 3 0
 @Crooks: thank you man. At this stage I'm still only looking into it because my surgeon(the one that dug fragments and fixed the fractures) had told me too. I take him telling me that as the first surgeon screwed something up. I have a post op appointment in a couple days so I'll be seeking more answers from him at that point. I'm really hoping it doesn't come to the point of lawyers and whatnot. The surgeon that fixed my ACL back in 2006 said that the nerve damage caused by the incision for getting my graft would go away and it never did. I find that damage convenient however because if I slip a pedal I don't feel it. Well see how it goes with the toes though. Thanks for the support and insight though crooks. I really hope it doesn't come down to a malpractice case though. Thanks for not hating on me like so many others on here.
  • 1 0
 @Ryanrobinson1984: Two plates and fourteen screws in my ankle, with extensive nerve damage. I can feel the tip of my big toe, and the back right side of my heel.
  • 2 0
 I know whistler is pretty good about thinking of those things ahead of time and take full responsiblilty. For example even if you load your bike onto the chairlift horribly and it falls off whistler takes full responsiblilty seeing as their lift operators didn't correct it in time or didnt do anything about it and deals with the cost of either fixing or replacing the damaged parts usually with few questions asked.@DMal:
  • 1 0
 @ski-or-die: Damned that's rough ok so didn't destroy my ankle quiet that bad. I only took 2 screws but the 2 hour prediction to put the screws in and debrade/clean all the bone fragments out ended up taking 3.5-4 hours to complete.
  • 1 0
 @ski-or-die: oh man, that's the exact setup holding my bones together. A plate in each bone, 7 screws in each plate
  • 3 0
 As a US citizen, I couldn't agree more. The scumbag ambulance chasers in this country are killing us. As a 61 year old motocrosser and mountain biker I accept the risks, as we all should, and wouldn't dream of suing. And I've had some major injuries over the years, including a broken arm that required 8 surgeries and was very close to amputation. I applaud the judge! I wish we had a bunch like her in the US. @nuttypoolog:
  • 1 0
 I still don't understand the idea that whistler would have no liability if they created a hazard. That would mean if I had signed the waiver I would have less recourse than someone trespassing on their land?
  • 3 0
 This is the outdoors, sports, and nature. sh*t happens. Move on. I got incredibly lucky the other week when crashing on my bike. Went over my bars in a similar fashion, landing square on my head, chipped 5 teeth, was knocked completely out from a concussion, regained consciousnesses, then passed out again because i was having a hard time with breathing and getting air into my lungs. I should have snapped my neck but some how did not. I should have died but did not. Been doing a shit load of PT though. This was on public land and I potentially could have made a lawsuit. Will I ever push for one? HECK NO!!!!!!!!! That was 100% my fault. And do you know what? I still ride my bike..... maybe not the exact same way because i learned my limitations but i accept that this could happen again, or even worse.

This Whistler case should not have even gone to the supreme court. Sorry about the life altering crash, its incredibly sad and unfortunate but its not anyone's fault other than your own. Don't ruin things for others. Maybe you have an argument if your bike spontaneously burst into flames due to a manufacturing defect causing the crash, but again that has nothing to do with Whistler......
  • 144 0
 I feel bad that he got hurt, however, if anybody knew the risks it was him. How many injured riders does a park patroller come across in the course of a season?
  • 95 0
 Right? How can you be a bike park patroller for three years, and claim to not know that crashing a bike can lead to serious injury?

I'm glad they upheld this though, because this makes this case law. No more arguments.
  • 18 51
flag scott-townes (Jun 19, 2017 at 12:00) (Below Threshold)
 I know this sounds horrible but.... I'm really glad he can no longer be a bike patroller. Based on his case and the reasoning for it, I doubt he could handle much of any situation he came across.
  • 6 0
 In ski patrolling (somewhat comparable), having worked as a pro for nearly a decade, I can say you would be surprised how many of the volunteer patrollers do not touch a patient in the course of a season. They certainly do a lot of training, but book smarts do not replace experience.
  • 8 1
 @kabanosipyvo: @kabanosipyvo: your experience is noteworthy and I agree there are some comparisons that can be drawn with regards to ski patrolling. But if you've seen the amount of trauma that occurs at WB bike park daily you'd see that, per capita, it is a lot more than any ski hill. Any patroller at WB bike park, pro or volunteer, has seen tons of trauma (from minor to severe) if they've spent even 1 year there.
  • 2 0
 @kabanosipyvo: Obviously this dude had very little of both. "I didn't know you could get this hurt while biking or that going over the handlebars could result in injury!"
  • 5 0
 really!!! , they said he pre hop the drop,(me don't know trail feature my ass) i think he knew what was going on!! get on the med and move on.
  • 6 0
 @kabanosipyvo: In this guy's case, WB produced half a dozen accident reports, involving head or spinal injuries, that he had attended and signed off.
  • 4 0
 @Chilkoot: Wow. Just wow. Did he think those would NOT come out in court???
  • 1 0
 @Chilkoot: hahaha, what a clown. Maybe he should have been a volunteer at a U.S. based resort where his BS may have held up.
  • 88 1
 Canada has their shit together. SO sorry the dude got hurt but that seems ridiculous and the judge is dead on.
If it was in California he would have won or the resort would have had to suspend mtb because of the expenses to defend the suit....Oh wait didn't that happen at Snow Summit a while back? #f*ckambulancechasinglawyersnotdentists.
  • 6 0
 Do you have an article or anything about the snow summit case?
  • 41 0
 A few years ago here in San Diego, some guy brought his kids to a pump track/skills park that was under construction and not open to the public - and clearly marked as such with signs and fences. One of the kids got hurt and he sued - first the city and then the rider organization I believe. The park still isn't open.

How do these cases even make it to court? Shouldn't admitting to trespassing while filing your lawsuit be grounds enough for immediate dismissal?
  • 17 0
 The big issue is that the US needs tort reform. It's often cheaper to settle outside of court, even if you know you're in the right.
  • 14 5
 While this incident clearly was the rider's fault, the statement about being protected from negligence is a bit scary. I don't think a waiver should protect resorts against negligence such as an improperly maintained lift or improperly marked or maintained trails. I expect equipment to be safe and I expect open trails to be reasonably maintained (no downed trees, wooden structures structurally sound, etc).
  • 7 0
 It wouldn't mark them exempt from proper mechanical maintenance but this is leaving them unresponsible for any injury sustained while using the parks features. A mechanical failure due to negligence is a different scenario than this and would likely have a different approach.
  • 14 1
 @dthomp325: Ya, that one is abit scary and probably shouldn't be in there. I remember back in the day... for grad presents, my buddy and I got to go to Windells Snowboard Camp at Mt Hood. Prior to going, when we and our parents were signing all the paperwork and what-not... my Dad came across a very similar clause in their waiver form that basically said that your right to sue was waived, even if they do anything wrong or some equipment fails or whatever (negligence) and your kid is hurt or killed because of it. My dad consulted his lawyer, who told him to cross that clause out, initial it, and request the operator also initial it and send a signed copy back. Which they did. Wonder if you could attempt something similar when buying a season pass... they'd probably just tell you to take hike.

Interestingly though, my dad told me, when he was chatting to the lawyer way back when... the lawyer said that negligence clauses in these situations don't usually hold much water in court. Especially for something as large as this where so much of the public is using the facility. He said the courts (in Canada) don't really treat these waivers as true contracts, but rather more like guidelines to help them make their decisions in conjunction with the circumstances of the incident.

I think in this case it was pretty obvious this guy knew exactly what could happen and was just trying to get some cash out of Whistler. But, had the accident been caused by actual negligence... like hitting a shovel left on the trail or something similar... I think the decision may have gone the other way... or at least not been as cut and dry.
  • 6 4
 Agreed. Something that I had a few issues with last season, as an example is trail closures.

As a "local" (lived in town for the summer), I knew the trails reasonably well. So, when you're coming into a trail you've ridden multiple times - in the woods and they have a piece of rope with a tiny sign on to state its closed - its super dangerous. It took me entirely off my bike and over the bars.

Now, that's just a small example - in Europe, they use signs the same as those when a ski run is closed - Fluro orange and a net, which is less likely to cause damage.

I'm a Euro, so I wouldn't sue - but if I'd had a serious injury from that, you can be damn sure I'd be frustrated - and that's my fault?
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: I agree.
I was riding at a certain lift accessed bike park in BC several years ago that had a few trails with old, wobbly wooden features. You had to know which ones to avoid or risk having a nasty accident. There were no signs or warnings to keep you from riding up on to stunts with missing boards and gaping holes in the middle of them. I haven't been back since. From what I hear they have made some improvements since then.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: Possibly true, but this is wrong case to bring that point up on IMO.
  • 2 0
 @hangdogr: was the park one that steve ford helped with ( gravity pirates) i think its called the crows nest??
  • 3 0
 @jarrod801: Yep, that's the one.
  • 2 0
 @jamesdunford: Literally yesterday I saw someone taken out at Trestle by an unexpected closure. Trail had been open all day, end of day they put a rope across with just a couple of orange ribbons on it. No sign, no warning, very easy to miss.

Guy got clotheslined and was fortunately fine, but I'd be pissed if I got hurt on something like that. I accept injury if it's my fault, but I expect a bike park to keep the trails in a safe condition.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: if a tree falls in the woods, does an alarm bell sound in the trail maintenance worker's cabin? Downed trees, really? That shit is unpredictable, unless we remove all trees within range of the trail.
  • 5 0
 @ianwish: this. In my first ever law class on the first day of it, the teach addresses negligence clauses in waivers. Said that while one can argue you were made aware of the risk and responsibilities as the one choosing to partake in the endeavour, this in no way excuses the operator from providing a basic standard of service. However, his claim to unaware with his background would be a very straight forward case to defend against. Sorry the dude got hurt, but he sounds like a schmuck.
  • 1 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: Obviously a park can't detect when a tree falls down immediately, but I expect them to do pre-runs before they open trails in the morning, and I expect them to close trails and perform maintenance when someone reports a problem to bike patrol. That's a big part of what you're paying for: being able to blast down the mountain with less worry about dog walkers or obstacles and not having to be as cautious as you would on non-park trails.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: I've personally seen a few trees fall in the middle of the day. I totally agree that safety and maintenance are part of what you pay for....however, I feel whenever you ride a bike you should expect the unexpected, and the resort is not liable for natural causes. Anyone who's ridden long enough, knows when you let your guard down is when you really get hurt. I've even had a deer run in front of me at a resort. Should I sue the resort for a deer? Trail maintenence and safety are always in as much control by mother nature as the resort. It's when negligence comes into it there's a proper case. Otherwise its just a rider assumed liability sport called riding a bike in the mountains. Riding a bike anywhere can kill you. Relaxing and assuming the trails are always obstacle free is not realistic for a sport in the mountains. And you know what they say about assumptions....
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: I understand you said less worry, not no worry. I guess I feel you should never let a lift ticket influence how safe you perceive a trail to be. There's just too many variables. Hikers also commonly love to not see signs saying downhill only, no hiking.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325 Agreed! To counter the point by @takeiteasyridehard - it's not the closing of the trail that I mean, or fallen natural obstacles as that happens - it's the WAY the trails in Whis are closed. That could lead to severe injury, through no fault of the rider, and they're responsible? I actually find that a little odd.

FYI - I generally think the trail crews do a great job, and in 78 days or riding last season - that was the only real issue I encountered.
  • 82 1
 Must have been a serious case.
  • 12 2
 best comment/joke in a week on here.

  • 7 0
 Too soon?
Nah... it's been 8 years.
  • 40 0
 First, I'll say I don't know the background on this, but will chime in and say that if this happened in the US, the rider would likely have had no choice in the lawsuit in that his health insurance company would sue the resort to recover their costs, but that it would still appear as though the rider was the one suing.

I have had friends who ended up suing their best friends technically, (suing the driver of the boat in a water skiing accident) because the insurance company always wants someone to pay, rather than to pay our a portion of their profits.
  • 23 2
 That's an interesting point that shines a light on another reason why the US style of private health care is just a bad idea. In Canada, with our single public payer system, the government would never go after Whistler to cover the future health care costs of this guy.
  • 6 0
 There was a similar issue at Blue Mountain in Ontario about 12 years ago. We may have single-payer health care here, but in this case, the guy also had additional health insurance through his employer. Given his injury, that insurance was in big for costs of rehab, meds, and other equipment required to support the dude post-injury. I think they also provided additional compensation for major injuries that prevented him going back to work. The result was the same: "he" sued Blue Mountain and it soon came out that the insurance company was behind the suit.

I would strongly consider that this is a possibility in this case as well, at least until it can be ruled out for sure.
  • 13 4
 It may not an insurance company motivated action in Canada, but I think you're right to look at the deeper problem here. If the rider in this situation was no longer able to work from his injuries then he was likely faced with a pretty grim choice: try and get by on the incredibly meagre welfare that the government offer, rely on friends and family (may not be possible), or listen to his lawyer and try to sue Whistler Blackcomb.

In that situation, if you're looking at relying on family for the rest of your life, I can't say I wouldn't make the same choice.
  • 1 0
 @big-red: et al, it's also why it is so hard to get permission to use private property for trails. Release or no, you can't really protect the landowner.
  • 5 11
flag skid (Jun 19, 2017 at 12:39) (Below Threshold)
 @delusional: Please stop riding then.
  • 2 0
 @delusional: people still can make a living from a wheelchair, maybe not bike park patrol, but afaik the guy wasn't brain damaged?
  • 2 0
 @sumarongi: That really depends on how severe your injuries are, and what your profession is. It's definitely possible that being in a wheelchair would prevent you working, and make it almost impossible to retrain unless you had significant outside support.

It's definitely possible that this wasn't a factor - I don't know the details well enough to know either way.
  • 4 1
 This is a very interesting point of view indeed. This injury is not a broken bone or dislocated joint. It is a life changing injury with huge long term ramifications. I work in the risk management industry and I have empathy for these types of injuries. People are almost forced to take this route. Maybe this was the case for this individual, or not. Regardless my heart feels for this guy and anyone else that is injured doing what they assumed was low risk.
  • 1 0
 @big-red: Blue Mountain never went to trial and never resulted in settled case law. Was there any more background on it? Was there something unusual about the run or the place where injury occured?

All I can find is this
  • 1 0
  • 7 1
 FYI the plaintiff is making a living as a radiologist. This happened post-injury
  • 1 0
 @delusional: From another article it appears he is training to be a radiologist, so seems to have moved on with his life. Not sure how the prior lawsuits worked out when the chairlifts fell off given that there was a clear liability. May have been the lift manufacturer that ate the costs.
  • 1 0
 Americans specialize in this kinda stuff. Siblings sue each other here all the time. It's probably the most f**ked up thing ever. Imagine your sitting in court with the person you spent most of your life with, someone you love and now they most likely hate each other because one of them is an a-hole who just wants money or is just a butthurt looser.
  • 1 0
 One other thing... Years ago, my wife and I were involved in a lawsuit with a major hotel chain for a slip and fall incident.. Once our insurance company found out about the lawsuit, they stopped paying. That meant a couple years of medical bills piling up... Settlement covered that, but not much more...
  • 3 0
 @codypup Thanks for sharing that, to be honest I feel like it's not right to sensationalize this stuff as "mtb news", it was all over the dirt website as well (with the same tone) and really, the guy has had a life changing injury and may or may not be responsible for the lawsuit. I'm not sure posting it under the guise of "hey remember kids, you're responsible for yourself in the park" is right either - I mean come on - as posted a million times, most people already know that. Anyway, I don't know the ins and outs of this particular case, but I think a little bit more respect shown to the injured rider (regardless of the case specifics) would be the bigger-man move. Good vibes to Blake and hope he has moved on... and to you for offering this viewpoint too.
  • 24 1
 I honestly cannot believe someone could try this. I CAN see the parents of the injured attempting something like this, if in fact the injured was not able to speak for himself. We ride bikes. we know the risks. If you go down on a feature that's above your riding level that's on you. Even if you go down on something that is well within your skill range, that is still your fault. Shit happens and accidents suck, and I feel bad the dude is wheelchair bound, but give me a break. As a patroller of whistler I'm sure he's seen injury after injury. I've been there once and seen serious injury. To claim you didn't know an OTB crash could be a mechanism of spinal injury is the dumbest thing, your head gets rocketed towards the ground...
  • 20 1
 This is an extremely sad story but honestly how could be outcome be any different?

Did the push to sue come from others parties? I'm guessing so.
  • 15 1
 This guy is probably drowning in debt resulting from his injuries. If he's a Canadian citizen his initial treatment would have obviously been covered but ongoing therapy, wheelchairs and other equipment, increased costs for accessible housing etc would not. On top of that, who knows what program he graduated from at UBC, but it's entirely possible his injury made it worthless, leaving him without the prospect of a job that could provide him with a reasonable quality of life. That mention of UBC also raises the possibility that at the time of his injury he was already paying off a mountain of student loans.

In that situation, f*ck, what choice do you have but to find a lawyer willing to sue on contingency? I mean, I don't think it's right, but damn do I feel for the guy. I'm sure he didn't want to do it.

The ruling is the correct one though, and I am glad to see it.
  • 4 2
 He received a degree in radiology. He can certainly practice as a radiologist from a wheelchair.
  • 2 1
 @vikb: You are correct. A cursory google suggests he's a resident someplace, so would be making about 50k a year. Most of my points stand. I bet he's still swimming in debt, but, lucky for him his prospects are pretty good.

Regardless, the injury blows and I feel for the guy. The suit was filed in 2011, I think he graduated in 2012, so I can definitely see student debt and injury expenses compounding on him around that time. Med school isn't cheap or easy for anyone, let alone someone who's also dealing with a life altering spinal injury.
  • 3 0
 @tinfoil: @tinfoil: A degree in radiology doesn't make you a radiologist. I'm not finding anything online that shows him being an MD or DO (the education required to be a radiologist). A bachelor's degree in radiology would make someone a RT(R).
  • 1 0
 @tinfoil: you are generous and kind to sympathize with this guy. However, just because he gets a shitty result, we should not think it's stupid to sue for getting hurt partaking in a sport we all know is dangerous. Again, kudos for being reasonable and sympathetic. I however am really glad this was ruled as it was. Maybe personal accountability will start to resurface at some point too...
  • 13 0
 In Whistler now every 10 meters you have a sign about injuries and risks, for me Whistler is one of the safest bikepark in the world. Everything is well design but you have to be careful about bears hahaha.
  • 6 0
 And cougars ;-)
  • 9 0
 @bishopsmike: But cougars are in downtown :p
  • 10 0
 "t's claimed that Jamieson was attempting to pre-hop the drop—a move that takes considerable committment—but unfortunately, he caught his rear wheel on the end of the rock, causing the accident. "

I feel for the guy, but he did a really risky move and screwed up, that was his choice (I ride A-line all the time and won't do that). I am glad to see a judge with common sense in this case.
  • 3 1
 @TheSpangler Why would a rider pre-hop a feature like that? Does it give you a better line once at the bottom, before the left hand turn? Or just cause it looks/feels cool? I've ridden that drop several times, and go just fast enough but no faster, and usually get that front O-ring marker rather high up the fork tube.
  • 5 0
 @twozerosix: because it lets you carry a lot more speed.
  • 6 1
 @twozerosix: u pre-hop it to land higher on the landing if you're carrying a lot of speed into it...
  • 5 14
flag obee1 Plus (Jun 19, 2017 at 11:38) (Below Threshold)
 @twozerosix: nah, I figure it's basically a "look cool" attempt- like scrubbing a jump.
its unfortunate that the rider got injured, but i'm glad he didn't win this case. he doesn't deserve to win anything, and its pretty "me first "thinking to take such a case to court, especially considering how the hill gave him such joy, and volunteer work, over the three years previous. if that case was lost, whistler would have had to likely make a lot of rebuilds across the entire hill to avoid further penalties of the like. and the result would have been Ontario level watered down Shite.
  • 10 1
 @obee1: Are you serious? A scrub is not a look cool attempt its a race/survival technique when you find yourself coming into a jump at mach 10 that was intended to be hit at mach 2 and you gotta lay 'er over to avoid sending it to flat. Same with the A line pre hop. When you are hauling ass on that trail you have to pre hop the drop to avoid sending yourself all the way into the corner. Dude probably tried the pre hop when he was going too slow, cased the end of the drop with his back tire and sent him over the bars into the corner which would be a terribly violent crash.
  • 8 6
 @meafroninja: you're absolutely right mr. Ninja. Scrubs and pre hops are a necessity to maintain race speed and to avoid over shooting. He might have been pre hopping to avoid overshooting, or perhaps, maybe, just maybe, a guy who worked there for three years has developed the situational awareness to know what was coming up on the trail and decided to get a little zesty, and who knows- maybe he wanted to look cool. But it's good that you pointed out the importance of these "survival techniques".
  • 4 1
 @twozerosix: Maybe because he saw how cool Brendan Fairclough looked when he did it?
  • 8 0
 Too bad were too litigious in the U.S.A. to allow this kind of ruling to happen. Pretty much any waiver can be gotten around with a good lawyer here. I do like how the judge called him out for being so stupid with him having been both a patroller and having signed the waiver.
  • 2 0
 Amen to that
  • 1 0
 That's not actually true. Here in Colorado there was a recent suite against one of the resorts here over an avalanche death caused by someone who went through open gates, then sidestepped to a closed off area. The courts ruled in favor of the resort setting a precedent for other similar cases. I just can't believe how many people here think it is okay to try and sue considering he is in a wheel chair. It was never right and only a dickbag will refuse to accept responsibility or try and shake down other parties not responsible for money. The most gregarious part being he was a volunteer patroller for 3 years. He knew the risks a lot better than most people ever will. He eschewed all his morals to proceed with this frivolous lawsuit. Hopefully he is stuck with covering all court costs for the defendant.
  • 9 1
 I've been off the bike 6 months in the last year due to breaking my left and right scaphoid at two different times u but would never think of sueing an instructor/bike park/ trail builder even if something this bad happened. Obviously I don't know his current circumstances but this just seems like a bit of a dick move.
  • 5 1
 If he's in a wheelchair for life that may have had serious impact on his ability to work. The social assistance for disabled people in Canada is incredibly meagre - basically barely survivable unless you're living in a tent and eating ramen. He may not have felt he had any choice.
  • 12 12
 @delusional: b.s.

the dude needs to get a job like the rest of us and move on.

big red flag though for any company who makes and sells adaptive sports equipment.

don't sell anything to this guy!

he sued once for his own stupidity, he will sue again if he gets hurt in an adaptive piece of sports gear.

the guy is a finger pointer. beware.
  • 3 0
 @delusional: get your own personal injury insurance then. Don't rely on someone else to foot the bill
  • 2 2
 @cmcrawfo: Erm, what do you think insurance is? Insurance is "someone else footing the bill" as much as social assistance is, the main difference being that insurance is run for financial rather than social profit, and as a result people who actually need the help are often excluded from insurance thanks to the cost.
  • 2 0
 @delusional: foot the bill, as in you pay the premiums. Rather than expecting someone else to. You participate in a high risk activity. Litigation is destroying the action sports industry.
  • 1 0
 @cmcrawfo: Get disability insurance. Had a friend in dental school who got injured riding and had to change careers. Fortunately he was insured and they generally cover you for non-aerial sports. Mess yourself up paragliding or base jumping and you are out of luck.
  • 2 0
 @delusional: don't why or who downvoted you. You're words are bang on. Too many people don't understand the concept of "social profit" the only concept they understand is financial profit. Furthermore too many seem to have this abject fear that if it's a good thing socially then somehow it's going to translate into being bad for them personally and directly on a financial level. Sadly history has proven exactly the opposite of the fearful conservative world view on many occasions. this isn't the right forum for such a discussion but it is one that society needs to engage in without it descending into Lord of the Flies.
  • 1 0
 @delusional: my previous comment being said. The man in question in this article was certainly disingenuous in claiming that he didn't know you could get hurt Mtbing! C'mon if you know what a pre hop is you've been on a bike for a while.
  • 11 1
 Feel sorry for the dude but this should never have made it to court
  • 4 0
 The repercussions of him being successful would have been devastating. Best case is park park costs would go way up to cover his and the subsequent law suits. Worst case is bike parks would shut down, trail builders would stop working on public trails for fear of being sued and trails would be decimated. If you follow through the trickle down, I honestly don't think that's too much of an exaggeration. Thank you courts for the correct decision. As an aside, I have personal injury and life insurance for this - I highly recommend others do the same. It's too late after, do it as soon as you can.
  • 5 0
 The guy knew the risks no doubt. He just needed/wanted someone to pay the bills. f*ck the system where slimey lawyers profit off this shit.
  • 3 0
 Wait, Patrol doesn't think you could get seriously injured? That's absurd. he would have spent years scraping people off of those same trails with lots of exposure to spinal injuries. I'd be floored if he didn't have to take c-spine on number of calls himself.

I feel for the guy - while not the end of the world, being wheelchair bound is pretty rough - but I feel like the whole "golly, I had no idea I could hurt myself" argument only ended up hurting him in court.

On the flip side, sounds like the guy's a radiologist now, so he's probably not hurting for cash [well.. after he pays of his loans].
  • 3 0
 Buys a mountain biker nobody wants to see a brother get hurt. However I lose all sympathy with frivolous lawsuits such as these because we all know the risks when the tires leave the ground so I'm just going to end this with one question........... I wonder if he's rocking a 26 or 29 inch wheelset on that chair
  • 2 0
 The man is in a whhel chair . Thats sucks hope he can walk again one day. That said it is irresponsable to sue the bike park. Im sorry for your injury but i dont want bike parks dumbed down in fear of law suits. You lost the court battle. In Canada its a bit tougher to sue for big cash.
  • 2 0
 F yeah! Common sense prevails in a court?! Go Canada! Please hold training sessions for US courts.

I too, feel bad for the guy, given his injuries. But otherwise, F that guy! Suing Whistler on those grounds? When he was a patroller for 3 years? Oh c'mon man! I would hope that somebody that was a bike patroller and active rider wouldn't sue, that it would be a suit brought on by insurance or somebody else. I have already told my family that if I get hurt or killed doing the action sports that I do, that they better not ever sue or I'd come back to haunt them. I know what I'm getting myself in to, and it isn't always "somebody else's fault".
  • 2 0
 Downhill Mountain Biking
Injury rate: 43 per 1,000 hours
Fatality rate: 11.2 per 1 million mountain bikers


I remember reading/hearing somewhere else that apparently mtbing has the 2nd highest rates of spinal injuries behind surfing for non-flight sports (i.e. excludes base jumping etc).

Poor guy, but that is a laughably bad legal case. It actually pains me.
  • 2 1
 not the greatest article. I've done nordic skiing (well, in Canada..) and while it's tough physically it's a cake walk skill wise when you're used to alpine skiing and boarding, and only rock climbing meets or surpasses DH in terms of skills required. Ultra running is also not as 'tough' because while it's a tough sport on your cardiovascular system, it's not exactly technically challenging, requires much skill, or involves much adrenaline (lots of endorphin however). I'd say Climbing unassisted or bouldering, then DH, then skiing, then ultra running, then open water swimming. at least on the measure of 'toughness' as DHers are some of the toughest people around, then just look at an ultrarunner and ask if they would survive Bulldogs crash last week..... doubt it.
  • 2 0
 I went OTB's at a local bike park. Bruised/cracked a few ribs. This was a Saturday morning. Tried to be a tough guy and walk it off but then needed something for the pain. Went to the ER Sunday night. My insurance company tried forever to contact me for a third party fault claim. Absolutely ridiculous.
  • 2 0
 Why not make neck braces cheaper? I don't mind paying a hundred dollars to save my brain but why pay triple to save my neck? I know people do spend the money and I see people wearing them. Even if they were cheaper it still doesn't help those who think they don't need them or other serious injury's to the spinal cord. Still there are risks and concerns about doing anything and we need to be self conscious in our actions. If you miss out on a couple of runs but you still end the day without injury then that is a success. I believe most injuries happen to people at Whistler because they either become to exhausted or dehydrated to realize their risk of injury is really high.
  • 2 0
 We had a similar case here in the UK a solicitor or legal type got injured went to court throws the whole right of access in jeopardy. If one of these cases win we could see our national parks or military land banning mtb or any other sport. It also shows a little of how the sport has changed there has always been a risk of injury but as bikes have become more capable and the trickle down of what pros do filters down to grass roots I have seen the riding get more extreme. Faster bigger. Makes sense a 5 to 6 inch fs almost needs more extreme to get the same thrill you get from a short travel rig. The bikes and protection are better than ever before but with bigger forces involved when it goes wrong it can go more wrong. I also think a lot of bikes are far more capable than the rider, including me, and it kind of gets you through it but when it bites that's when you find you lack the skills.
  • 2 0
 This is so confusing for me as a European. If I go on a roller-coaster and it crashes, of course I would blame the company behind. But if I myself crash while biking, how could this be anyone else responsibility unless it is a deliberate sabotage?

I have never signed a waiver in Europe, but in US and Canada I have signed them for things that are so obviously on my own risk.
  • 4 0
 I should imagine ethics and common sense goes out of the window after such an injury.
  • 1 0
 Exactly. Especially if you fear to become a welfare case. I don't blame him for trying.
  • 3 0
 It's a terrible injury but considering the danger of the sport a "typical" complication.

If you play chess it is less likely to happen.
  • 5 0
 Vail is still gonna dump a load of dirt into this drop now
  • 4 0
 Already the drop is much smaller than it used to be, they tamed it years ago
  • 8 4
 Time to start carrying scalding hot coffee between my legs when I ride. Maybe I can get rich that way!!
  • 2 0
 It might say caution: hot - but it doesn't say caution: don't ride down Whistler on a mountain bike whilst sipping our hot coffee
You're set
  • 3 0
 Only thing surprising about this is it took 8 years. Wow the court system moves slowly. Very tragic event but not the bike parks fault.
  • 1 0
 I was just googling this case... seems he only filed it in Aug 2011... still 6 f*cking years... but not quite 8. The other interesting point then is... why did it take him two years to file the suit?
  • 1 0
 @ianwish: trying to decide if he will actually make the claim, there is a limitation period of 2 years and often people/lawyers will wait right up until the end of the 2 year limitation period before actually making the claim.

Also, in personal injury cases it is common to let a lot of time pass after starting the claim during which the parties can obtain more information about what the injured person's life is going to look like on an ongoing basis. Basically, no one is rushing things. If both parties wanted the case to go to court earlier, they certainly could have found a much earlier court date than years down the road. They may have waited a year or a year and a half for a court date, but usually not more than that.
  • 1 0
 @ianwish: the statute of limitations on lawsuits for negligence in Canada is two years. Many injured plaintiffs wait the full two years
  • 1 0
 @leelau: Interesting. Any idea why they wait?
  • 1 0
 @tjcombs: I'm not a plaintiffs lawyer so I don't have actual knowledge. I've been told that the plaintiffs just want to preserve all their options. File in time and they have the option to sue. Don't file in time and they lose the option of suing
  • 1 0
 @tjcombs: probably to build their case with the most amount of data possible
  • 1 0
 I assume that they will be appealing? Just a reminder to readers, liability cases like this are provincial, at least for the first two levels of court. That is why you have a result like this and you have a result like the one in Ontario and Blue a few years ago.
  • 2 0
 Perhaps. But this decision was a 100% victory for WBP. Appeals usually look for glimmers of hope and there's none here. But I've seen crappier grounds for appeal so who really knows.
  • 2 1
 Did they fill in that section of the drop just this season? I've never noticed the bricks and mortar pictured on it before and had a sketchy almost crash (and lawsuit, haha) when I missed the pop from the pre-hop the only time I've ridden it this year...
  • 2 0
 I haven't ridden Whistler in a few years, but I vividly remember the super uneven part of that drop. There was one big crack through the top that looked like death if you caught your wheel in it, so they definitely smoothed it out somewhat recently.
  • 2 0
 @gtbiker87: Def smoothed out, but it was a pretty mild drop to hit imo.
  • 2 0
 @atrokz: +1!
  • 1 0
 @BDKR: yup, with the speed you having coming into it and even with that slight left, you could send it to flat if you didn't soak it up a bit. Of course this was with a DH bike that soaked up a lot of the rough leading up to it. The hardest part of A-Line to me was armpump after that beat to shit long high speed right hander. haha.
  • 2 0
 @atrokz: oh I know the drop was small, I'm talking about the crack that went through the top right before you came off it. If it was slippery and you managed to dig into the crack you were most definitely going over the bars and off the drop.
  • 1 0
 @gtbiker87: probably got worse over the last few years. Seemed ok when I hit it a few years ago but that shit does spread and erode. Now it looks pretty fun, no need to prehop just ride right off.
  • 1 0
 Here's the thing. Perhaps incidents like this where decent riders get hurt can provide a impetus for getting these things sorted out in the future. There can certainly be medical savings trusts set up by riders in conjunction with Whistler Bike Park. Accounts that could pay money directly to emergency personnel or hospitals as a sort of middle ground for blanket settlements or dare we say.....accidents that happen. No one wants to get hurt, and riders are usually good people in my experience. It CAN be done.
  • 2 0
 How many folks are carried out of Whistler a DAY? The pool should be bigger than Whistler, its called insurance.
  • 2 0
 If you can't accept the possible consequences of riding, please don't. It's not like a chairlift failed. He messed up, and ate shit. It sucks but that IS life. This kind of stuff is why we don't have more fun things.
  • 1 0
 It is highly likely that this was an insurance company claim on the riders behalf. It is a basic principle of most insurance policies be it auto or medical that contractually allows the company to claim in your name to recover it's costs if someone else is responsible. The judge was correct. Waivers like this excuse negligence but not gross negligence Obviously the facts of the case will determine which kind was present. If the WPB had for instance half completed a feature but left the trail open without warning signs the outcome of this case would have been very different.
  • 1 0
 No recourse to sue? If there is negligence or intent on bike park parts there should be due cause to sue. No waiver should be considered under law a right to death or injury without recourse. This is justic being overly friendly with local big business (Whistler Bike Park). That said this was a known feature by an experienced rider, he choose to take an extra level of risk by hoping into. His failure to estimate his own abilities or take precautions to ware protection that could mitigated or lessened the injury is his fault. That said I feel extremely sad for this guy - being in a wheelchair due to single miscalculation is unfair no matter the cause. I hope that his family, friends and greater biking community can support him and not focus on pointing blame.
  • 5 0
 "The Provence".....
  • 2 0
 Maybe someone else brought this up, but it may not have been him seeking the lawsuit. With things like this, a lot of insurance agencies will press charges regardless.
  • 2 0
 Glad this finished this way. Very sad that someone got hurt but private land will get shut down if lawsuits like this are succesful.
  • 1 0
 dude I'm sorry but if you want to pre-jump this drop then you defenit have to think about the consequences before. This pre-jump is fuckin sketchy and if you come short you go straight OTB... not fair to sue anybody for that
  • 1 0
 Wait the dude hurt himself riding, and then tried to sue..? this is what f*cks up trail access in most parts.. this douche bag needs to be tarred and feathered and set on fire.
  • 1 1
 Did he really think he could sue them and get away with it lol You know the risks of mountain biking and you sign your rights away when you sign the waiver and buy a lift ticket. How can someone work as a bike park patroller and not realize the consequences when you crash???
  • 3 1
 Shit happens, just deal with it, but not point fingers to others for your mistakes. Ride safe.
  • 3 1
 Part of me want thinks that he got suckered into the suit by a sneezy lawyer. Either that or he is as dumb as he sounds.
  • 2 3
 This is interesting. At my local lift serviced park, negligence is EVERYWHERE on the operators part. Rusty nails poking out, exposed chicken wire inches from your leg, broken pieces of lumber thrown about on certain sections. I could see where it can hit a point of that it's unsafe due to lack of care. Not unsafe due to its intended purpose. I'm hoping that if there's another case, say where a trail crew member left his axe stuck in a tree and someone hit it riding by, that it won't be shrugged off as "hey, you signed a waiver" and will be looked at as "were you injured due to fault of your own, waiver or not".
  • 6 1
 I've ridden Whistler 7 different occasions. It is NONE of the above. Perfectly maintained, each lip of a jump is built with the average trail speed/rider skills in mind, All wooden features are well maintained, etc. etc. I've ridden janky, bootleg trails in the Southeast and out West for years. Whistler is spot on almost 99% of the time. This guy F'ed up. I have sympathy for him and wish him all the best. However, Whistler is not at fault.
  • 1 1
 @bman33: I never said that's what Whistler was. I am fully aware of their reputation and where they stand. I'm saying there is simply another side to the spectrum and I hope the rider doesn't get boned legally because of it.
  • 1 1
 As a private park owner here in AZ this is just one of the many important paragraphs in my release form.
Not sure how other parks in the SW read, but I'm gonna try to find a form/old lift ticket from sunrise.

I AGREE it is my sole responsibility not to participate if the area of the activity or adjacent areas or conditions are not to my satisfaction and within my ability. I further hereby RELEASE FROM LIABILITY AND AGREE TO
IDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS the owner of this property and its family members for any damage, injury, or death to myself or to any person or property, whether caused by their NEGLIGENCE or for any other reason, in any way connected with the physical condition of the area of the activity and adjacent areas, my preparation or practice for or my participation in these activities.
  • 2 2
 @foamfreak: By reading this, I'm under the impression that if I were to hit a jump, land, and one of the crew members left their shovel in the middle of the trail, I hit it and sued, it would still be my fault? Is that what you're saying? That's a scenario where it was total negligence on the parks fault, yet the rider still gets the shaft legally? Oh that's right. It's MY responsibility to walk every trail before I ride it to make sure there's nothing wrong with it? That's a load of crap. You can't waive negligence and these are the scenarios I'm talking about that give park owners the feeling they have enough lee way to not give a squirt about their trail conditions. Since you say you own a park in Arizona, I'm assuming it's Sunrise. Am I correct in this assumption?
  • 1 1
 @foamfreak: and what about if I did walk every course before riding it and the trail crew did it mid run? I know for a fact, negligence can not be waived, regardless of waiver and what is signed. I am simply saying I hope that fact never gets over looked due to peoples conception of the sport being "dangerous".
  • 1 1
 @AZRyder: Yes, that's exactly what I, my lawyers, and the release are saying... inspect the features, make sure the landings are clear, structures are ride-able. That's another reason WBP has signage as you ride the chair that say the same thing... look before you huck, be aware of trail changes, etc. I truly hope for all parties involved that we will never have to test it, it's called self responsibility! Your assumptions are wrong.
  • 1 0
 @foamfreak: What about what I also said about the trail crew leaving a shovel mid run after I provide video of me inspecting the trail? What then "park owner"? Like I said, parks have too much leeway in regards to what standards they're actually held to due to the waiver. I understand, and if one party isn't responsible they should pay the penalty and not hide behind "you signed a waiver". Ask your lawyers. You can't waive negligence, no matter what is signed. If you don't own Sunrise, then you don't own a major park here. I'm done wasting my time with you.
  • 1 1
 @AZRyder: People can attempt to sue all you want, just not me. Just as most bikers put on a helmet for a type of protection, I have people sign a piece of paper to protect me. Find another shovel to land on. Not sure I would consider a park that is closed more years than open and has maybe a handful of trails as a major park... Guess it's all about perception though.
  • 3 1
 Note to self: If I ever own a bike park or trails, never let AZRyder on my property. He will look for all opportunities to sue therefore forcing the park to sterilize trails and close
  • 2 0
 @bman33: not really. Features are supposed to be dangerous. Up it from a shovel to someone was operating a mini-excavator on the landing of a jump without closing the trail and someone slammed into it. As he points out, a waiver won't cover gross negligence.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: Thank. You. This is the scenario I'm talking about. I didn't mean to come off as some sue happy ninny. I'm just trying to see things from both sides.
  • 4 2
 Most of us learned at about 5 years of age that falling of your bike will hurt. I wish him the best in his recovery.
  • 4 2
 I wish that the USA had this amount of basic common sense. The presidential election would have gone the other way.
  • 7 8
 Having fractured a vertebrae on A-line myself, I can empathize somewhat with the injured rider. And while I don't want Whistler to close, or even be subject to unfair punishments, its worth noting that Whistler chooses not to proactively report comprehensive injury statistics and may have under-reported the injury rate at the park when inquiries have been made. Certainly the waiver itself give absolutely no injury numbers. Though it does entirely release Whistler from liability, even in the case of Whistler neglecting to take reasonable steps to protect riders. In other words, they have NO legal responsibility to do ANYTHING to protect riders. Our sport could use some sober, objective reporting on injury statistics.
  • 3 2
 Ugh, should there be some sort of scoreboard at the ticket window"

>> Number of concussions today: 3
>> Number of broken bones today: 12

Etc? Umm...seems like that'd be silly..
  • 6 3
 @webhead: I was hardly suggesting a realtime tally. The current status quo is the polar opposite: neglecting to publish ANY numbers. Consider the relative injury rates according to Annie Gareau, a doctor at the Whistler Health Clinic: one in 1,000 skiers are injured, one in 100 snowboarders, and one in 10 downhill cyclists.

Whistler barely acknowledges this when faced with it, let alone proactively warns user. They could choose to identify, in their waiver or elsewhere, that riding their bike park might be 10X more likely to result in injury than snowboarding and 100X more than skiing. Perhaps that would influence some of the riders to be more cautious?

What is the rationale for withholding such information?

Knowing those stat's probably wouldn't have changed the choices of the rider who brought this case. That's not my point. My point is that Whistler is less than forthcoming about the risks of riding their park. I think as riders we should all expect more.
  • 1 0
 @Inertiaman: Gathering and publishing data costs resources (money, if you will). Why should Whistler spend resources on what you propose when no other parks are doing so. And it's not just the bike parks, it's the entire industry.
  • 5 5
 @kabanosipyvo: A few reasons:
1) apparently they already have data, they just aren't sharing it. So costs, if any, are insignificant.
2) it would be the ethical thing to do
3) it would provide additional support for their case in legal suits

I agree its not just Whistler. I'm only "singling them out" because the case highlighted in this article is about their liability waiver and actions.

If they expect us to waive ALL our rights, even in cases of their gross negligence, is it not reasonable to expect them to be forthcoming with their own data about risk?
  • 2 0
 @Inertiaman: To your last question: No, it is not at all unreasonable, but I think it IS naive.

1) Just because they have a number for ticket sales plus have a bunch of patient care records in a file somewhere, does not mean they "have" data. Assuming they will take the next step and put the two together, absent a clear benefit to the organization, is to ignore basic corporate behavior.
2) Ethical? How so? Everywhere you look they are telling their customers that downhill mountain biking is a dangerous activity. Is the Town of Whistler being unethical because they don't publish the number of human-bear interactions, or comparing human-bear versus human-raccoon interactions?
3) In your opinion yes, but I am willing to bet my DH bike that quite a few personal injury attorneys could twist that additional support to illustrate to a jury "look, Whistler KNEW how dangerous this activity is...100x more dangerous than skiing...and they STILL let their customers do it!"

It's all about perspective. Yours is quite noble. The rest of the world...not so much.
  • 2 0
 @Inertiaman: I wasn't going to comment but your comment makes me want to. And sorry it's following @kabanosipyvo (with several points that are also relevant) but I already typed it all out. As follows:

"1) apparently they already have data, they just aren't sharing it. So costs, if any, are insignificant."
- You already mentioned it's the local doc/clinic that provided this data. There's no indication WC has collected any on this front.

"2) it would be the ethical thing to do"
- How so? I'm not sure how knowing there were X number of concussions suffered in the park on a Tuesday is the knowledge that will make me think WC is ethical.

"3) it would provide additional support for their case in legal suits"
- How so? I'm a legal noob but publishing injury stats will, in the hands of defence, paint any bike park as a minefield for cyclists where trees and other assorted pieces of wood reach out and kill you. You'd also have to publish the boring offset stats about total ridership, injuries/thousand riders and other such blah blah yada yada that most riders are going to pay as much attention to as the waiver they sign.

I speak as an older/average rider having ridden WC park and trails several times on vacation. The signs that advise riding/re-riding/free-riding are on point. Knowing that 20 other people got hurt in the park the day I was riding wouldn't stop me from riding the park or make me think I'd have a slam dunk lawsuit if I mess up. I do my best to assess my skill/sleep/sober level and apply it to an appropriate trail selection. If something goes wrong then I'll have to sort out the specific problem if it ever comes up (lawsuit or not or otherwise).

In the end, I don't think your assertion that knowing injury data equates to knowing the risk of riding the park. For me, it indicates an error rate. And no one goes to the park looking to make just happens sometimes. And then you start problem-solving.
  • 2 0
 Good for BC......keep it up! Our American courts could learn a thing or twenty from our Canadian friends
  • 3 0
 Just pointing out that if I fuck up, I don't blame somebody else.
  • 1 0
 he tried to pre hop it... obviously he knew what he was attempting to do was gnarly and required a lot of speed/hop/and skill...
  • 2 0
 you sign THE PAPER -----> your're done ...break , vanish , bleed , die , whatever ...they have: THE PAPER
  • 1 0
 I feel bad for the guy because of his injury and how severe it was, but at the end of the day, he took on the risk when he decided to hit A-Line.
  • 2 0
 Ironically someone DID sue WB over the squirrel catcher on a line #c*nt
  • 1 0
 Link? Is that actually why they made the drop a roll?
  • 4 0
 @Zaeius: and of yesterday morning, its now back to a drop. no roll option.

get this though....they did put slat work back up on the face of the drop, so from the chair it gives the illusion that the roll is still there.

so someone that rolled it last week will try to roll it next week because it appears nothin has changed.

idk sometimes man, i really don't know if all peeps are on the same page as far as risk management goes.
  • 3 1
 GTFOH with your bullshit lawsuit, sorry you got hurt but??
  • 3 1
 You yankees started it Wink
  • 3 0
 @Theeeeo: actually modern negligence law really kicked off with the Scots, Donoghue v Stevenson, a case about a snail in a bottle of ginger beer.
  • 1 0
 @Theeeeo: I must Canadian at heart
  • 1 0
 @Barrymay: thanks, I never tort about it before.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure you could still successfully sue them if they were -actually- negligent.
  • 1 0
 i assume he wasnt wearing any sort of body armour?

specifically a back protector?
  • 4 0
 If you go OTB in the air and pile drive your head into the ground for a landing, no back protector made will save you.
  • 2 0
 @kabanosipyvo: a neck brace might
  • 1 0
 BE RESPECTFUL...BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS..PERIOD.....this is absent from todays society.
  • 2 0
 Mountain biking is dangerous now? When did this new standard come around?
  • 1 0
 Earth To Mountain Bikers: When you are leaving earth and getting big air, that can be dangerous.
  • 3 1
 What a joker
  • 2 1
 I can see why he gave it a go though.
  • 1 0
 "I didn't know you could get hurt from going over the bars" wtf?
  • 1 0
 His insurance company probably made him do it
  • 1 0
 Him really!
  • 1 1
 He hit a rock, give the guy a break! Ehhhh
  • 1 4
 yea that bull shit always a loop hole for getting around those waviers my buddy got 2 million from mountain creek
  • 1 0
 What happened to him crashwise?
  • 1 0
 yeah what??
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