Snow King summit lift

Sightseers ride the chairlift back down to the base of Snow King Mountain on Tuesday. A Colorado woman is suing the resort after being knocked off of the summit platform and into the netting below along with her daughter and a chairlift operator in June 2020.

A Colorado woman is suing Snow King Mountain Resort for more than $75,000 after she said a chair knocked her off a chairlift loading platform at Snow King’s summit.

Sabita Shrestha, 75, said she, her daughter and a Snow King employee were all knocked into the netting below after the employee failed to slow or stop the chair in order for her to board.

In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming by attorneys Robert Schuster and Bradley Booke, Shrestha states she broke ribs and suffered other injuries and had to be admitted to the hospital.

Shrestha and her family were visiting Jackson in June 2020 when they decided to ride the chairlift to the top of Snow King.

“The uphill ride was uneventful,” the lawsuit states.

A little after 3 p.m. the family went back to the chairlift to go down. The chairlift operator asked them if they wanted him to stop the lift long enough to allow Shrestha to safely get on.

“The family members told the chairlift operator that they did want him to stop the lift and the chairlift operator said that he would stop the lift to enable Sabita Shrestha to safely board,” the lawsuit says.

Shrestha and her daughter Archana Shrestha moved into position to board “anticipating that the chairlift operator would stop the lift as he stated he would do.”

The complaint states that the lift operator failed to stop the lift.

“When the chairlift operator realized that he had failed to hit the stop button in time to stop the chair to allow Sabita Shrestha to board, he ran in front of the chair to try to help Sabita Shrestha to get up on to the moving chair,” the lawsuit states.

He was unable to get them onto the chair, and it knocked all three people off the loading platform and into the netting below, the complaint says.

The plaintiff’s daughter sustained injuries to her leg and other places, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit says Snow King owed a duty to its guests to exercise reasonable care in operating the chairlift safely, and since it failed to do so, it’s “vicariously liable for the negligent acts and omissions of its employee.”

The lawsuit is also challenging Snow King’s hiring, training and supervision, claiming the chairlift operator “had not been reasonably screened or interviewed for hire, was not reasonably or adequately trained to operate the chairlift, and was not reasonably supervised or monitored in operation of the chairlift.”

The complaint states Shrestha endured physical and emotional pain and suffering from the incident, along with “permanent disfigurement, permanent disability and past and future medical expenses.”

In Snow King’s response, filed by attorney Jim Lubing, the defendant says the employee “took appropriate action to try to manually stop the chair in order to prevent injury or damage.”

Snow King says Shrestha’s claims are barred by the Wyoming Recreation Use Statute, so she isn’t entitled to the damages she claims.

In the answer, Snow King’s lawyers ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit.

Earlier this month, Judge Kelly Rankin ruled that Shrestha can be examined by a doctor for the case.

A jury trial was scheduled for May.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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(1) comment

Ken Chison

All you need to do is read the fine print on the lift ticket and you'll see that snow king is not liable for anything. As it should be. Accidents happen. Bad thing is everybody's always looking for a free ride.

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