Grouse Mountain ski resort in North Vancouver. (Pixabay photo)

Snowboarder paralyzed from fall at Grouse Mountain wins appeal to sue

Jason Apps suffered a fall, rendering him a quadriplegic, in March 2016

An Australian man who suffered life-altering injuries after a fall in Grouse Mountain’s snowboard park has been granted the right to sue the mountain by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The B.C. Supreme Court dismissed his lawsuit in June, but a three-judge panel overturned that decision earlier this week.

Jason Apps suffered a fall at the Grouse Mountain Terrain Park, rendering him a quadriplegic, in March 2016, according to court documents published on Thursday. None of Apps’ allegations have been tested in court.

Apps claims that the mountain was negligent in how it designed the park and was in breach of the Occupier’s Liability Act. He alleges that the mountain failed to warn of the risk for serious injury in its waiver printed on the back of his lift ticket.

In June, a trial judge dismissed Apps’ case, saying that he was bound by the terms of the waiver printed on the ticket, and that as an employee himself at a ski resort in Whistler he would have known his rights and risks. The judge also agreed with Grouse Mountain that there were adequate warning signs posted around the mountain.

READ MORE: Grouse Mountain ski resort purchased by B.C.-based Northland Properties

But this week, the court of appeal found that the warning signage shouldn’t have been considered in the original decision. Instead, the judge should have looked at just the waiver notice posted at the ticket booth, which they found to be “difficult to read,” among other issues, according to court documents.

“By the time Mr. Apps arrived at the terrain park, he had paid for his non-refundable ticket, taken the lift up the mountain, and had begun snowboarding,” the decision reads.

“It was far too late to give notice of what was in the waiver. That had to be done at or before the ticket booth.”

The three-judge panel also determined that the fact Apps had used waivers in his work in Whistler played no relevant role in Grouse Mountain’s argument.

“I do not think the fact that Mr. Apps had some previous awareness that when he signed an agreement at Whistler, he was waiving legal rights of some sort, can satisfy that obligation in this case,” the decision reads.

Because the ruling did not make a ruling on the merits of the lawsuit, a trial date will be set at a later time in front of a new judge.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

lawsuit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bachrach to donate salary hike to community organizations

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP among growing list of MPs giving raise away amid economic crisis

Coast Mountain College sets up student emergency fund

It’ll provide grocery store gift cards for students affected by COVID-19 crisis

Northern Health moves reefer unit to Mills Memorial

The move is not related to COVID-19

Kitimat residents find unique ways to celebrate birthdays while practicing social distancing

The Northern Sentinel spoke with a number of parents whose children had birthdays recently

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

Most Read