A holidaymaker´s claim for an injury at a ski resort has been resolved by negotiation following court proceedings being issued against a ski lift operator.
In December 2010, twenty-five year old Tom Giddens was on holiday at the French ski resort of Val Thorens in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, when he and a friend got onto the ski lift with the intention of enjoying one final run of the day.
The ski lift stopped 200 feet from the top of the run and, as the two friends waited for the lift to restart, the temperature started falling. Tom – a student from Solihull in the West Midlands – rang the ski lift emergency number, but only got through to a message service in French.
After thirty minutes of waiting for help to arrive, Tom and his friend decided to jump from the ski lift. Tom´s friend lowered himself onto the bar of the ski lift and landed safely on the ground but, when Tom jumped, he landed badly and broke his leg.
Fortunately help arrived quickly, and Tom was taken to the resort´s medical centre on a bud wagon. After receiving preliminary treatment, he was transferred to Moutiers Hospital, where a metal pin was inserted into his leg to help the broken bone heal properly.
Tom returned to the UK five days later, where he spent five weeks recovering at the Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield. He was discharged on crutches and subsequently underwent eighteen months of physiotherapy. Sadly, he never regained the level of fitness he had prior to the accident.
Tom sought legal advice and made a claim for an injury at a ski resort against the operator of the ski lift – Societe D’Exploitation des Telepheriques Tarantaise-Maurienne – on the grounds that there had been a lack of safety standards.
The ski lifted operator initially denied liability, but once court proceedings were filed he France, negotiations started to resolve the claim for an injury at a ski resort, and Tom´s case was eventually settled for an undisclosed five-figure amount.