The importance of responsible skiing highlighted in outcome of lawsuit |

The importance of responsible skiing highlighted in outcome of lawsuit

The name Vincent Iatesta means little to Parkites, but the travails of the Annapolis, Md., man, who a Summit County jury on Friday cleared in an intriguing ski-wreck lawsuit, should be noted by the community.

Iatesta and another man collided in 2004 while skiing at Deer Valley Resort, resulting in what the other skier claimed were bad injuries. The Harbor Springs, Mich., man sued Iatesta, charging, among other allegations, recklessness and negligence. The case ended on Friday with the jury ruling in favor of Iatesta.

The case certainly highlights that skiing can be dangerous, which most any Parkite realizes, but, even more so, it speaks to the importance of safety on the slopes.

In recent years, especially, more skiers and snowboarders are wearing helmets and resorts are attempting to make their slopes less hazardous through programs like slow-skiing zones, among other developments meant to make the sport safer.

The resorts are doing their part for safety, understanding that, as the Park City ski industry continues to grow, there is the potential for more accidents on the slopes. That is perhaps why Deer Valley was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The skiers and snowboarders, then, must take safety cues from the resorts. That does not mean slow-turn, pizza-pie skiing everywhere but it does anticipate that the people on the slopes, whether they are experts or beginners, be cautious and aware of others.

The National Ski Areas Association, an industry group, publishes what is widely known as the ‘Skier Responsibility Code,’ a statement that outlines how people should act when they are at mountain resorts.

Some of the key parts of the code are that people must stay in control, that skiers and snowboarders in the lead have the right of way and that people must yield when starting on or merging onto a trail.

As early-bird, season-pass sales continue at the mountain resorts, Parkites should at least refresh themselves on what the rules of the slopes are.

No one wants to be dragged into court after a day skiing or snowboarding.

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