WEST KELOWNA – Two Okanagan residents are suing Crystal Mountain Resorts Ltd. over injuries they suffered when the ski lift they were riding malfunctioned two years ago.
Several people were hurt when four chairs on the Blue Chairlift plunged to the ground on March 1st 2014 after the carriage support cable fell off tower equipment.
West Kelowna resident Lawrence Waldenberger claims the resort was negligent in ensuring lift passengers would be reasonably safe.
Waldenberger alleges Crystal Mountain did not comply with safety requirements for the installation and operation of the lift, including failing to provide any reasonable maintenance system.
It’s also claimed the towers were not installed in accordance with the original design from 1967 and the company failed to rectify the “chair swing issue” which was allegedly abnormal and excessive.
Waldenberger says he suffered almost 30 effects and injuries including traumatic brain injury, multiple broken ribs and major depression.
In a separate lawsuit, Kelowna resident Meagan Harvey makes similar negligence claims against Crystal Mountain Resorts.
They include exposing the lift counterweight to contamination and failing to understand the elements of the tensioning system.
Harvey says she suffered numerous injuries and fractures, including a broken back, that left her with chronic, ongoing pain.
Both plaintiffs are seeking unspecified compensation for pain and suffering, loss of real and prospective earnings and future care costs.
Crystal Mountain has not yet responded to Waldenberger’s lawsuit.
But in its court filed response to the whole of Harvey’s Civil Claim the company states: “Crystal Mountain denies that the Incident was caused or contributed to in any manner by the negligence of Crystal Mountain and further denies that it was in breach of any statutory of other duty of care owed to the Plaintiff.”
The ski hill operations were closed after the incident and have not reopened.