Roughly four years after sustaining serious injuries during a snowmobiling accident on land used by Canyons Resort, Steve Osguthorpe has filed a lawsuit against the resort and various other parties involved (including ASC Utah, Inc., Vail Resorts, Inc., and various entities related to Talisker Land Holdings, LLC) for negligence.
According to the lawsuit filed April 8 in Summit County's Third District Court, on April 15, 2010, Osguthorpe was snowmobiling on his property, which was being used by The Canyons (now Canyons Resort) for resort operations. Accompanying him was Thomas V. Boyer, an appraiser whom Osguthorpe had hired to inspect properties for an estate. The Canyons' ski terrain had been closed for the season.
After completing an inspection of the properties, the two began to return to Osguthorpe's Red Pine Adventures base site on White Pine Canyon Road. On the way, they passed the base of the Painted Horse Terrain Park, where they noticed two snow cats parked on either side of a trail, about 20 to 30 feet apart, according to the documents.
According to the complaint, Osguthorpe and Boyer stopped roughly 100 yards from the snow cats and did not notice any operators or evidence of the machines being in operation. Osguthorpe then began to drive at a reduced speed between the snow cats and was struck across the face and neck by a small-diameter steel cable, which had been stretched between the snow cats about three to four feet from the ground.
Boyer was able to stop before striking the cable. Right after the collision, three Canyons employees approached Osguthorpe, who had sustained severe injuries to his face, teeth, neck and jaw and was shaken and bleeding profusely, the documents say.
Osguthorpe rode back to the Red Pine Adventures base site on Boyer's snowmobile, where he then drove his truck five minutes to his home on White Pine Canyon Road. He was then driven to a Park City clinic, where it was determined that he would require emergency treatment in Murray for a facial fracture, broken teeth, severe whiplash and facial and neck abrasions.
In the initial court complaint, Osguthorpe's attorney Beatrice Peck stated that the defendants "owed [Osguthorpe] a duty to maintain and operate its terrain and snow cat equipment in a reasonably safe manner and condition." The complaint also says the defendants "breached their duty of care by negligently and carelessly stretching a steel cable, that was not visible to those traveling on the property, at a height of 3-4 feet" without proper warning signage.
Peck would not offer a comment on the case and an attorney for the defendants could not be reached. Canyons Resort General Manager Mike Goar did not return a request for comment.
Osguthorpe is seeking a minimum of $300,000 in damages, as well as additional special, general and punitive damages, the complaint says. No pre-trial hearing has been set as of yet.