This injury claimant sustained serious injuries, including a broken leg, while snowboarding at Big White Ski Resort. The claimant said that he was injured when a known route from “Highway 33,” a ski run on Big White, to the Solana Ridge condominium complex led him over a sheer ten-foot drop down into a parking lot. As a result he made a slip and fall claim under the occupier liability legislation.
Big White Ski Resort is owned and operated by Big White Ski Resort Limited. There was no dispute that, on the day of the accident, the claimant was snowboarding on a Big White day ticket. The ticket contained detailed language excluding liability , and stated in particular:
As a condition of use of the ski area and other facilities, the Ticket Holder assumes all risk of personal injury, death or property loss resulting from any cause whatsoever including but not limited to: the risks, dangers and hazards of skiing, snowboarding, tubing, skating, cycling, hiking and all other recreational activities; the use of ski lifts; collision or impact with natural or man-made objects or with skiers, snowboarders or other persons; travel within or beyond the ski area boundaries; or negligence, breach of contract, or breach of statutory duty of care on the part of Big White Ski Resort Ltd. and its directors, officers, employees, instructors, volunteers, agents, independent contractors, subcontractors, representatives, sponsors, successors and assigns (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Ski Area Operator”). The Ticket Holder agrees that the Ski Area Operator shall not be liable for any such personal injury, death or property loss and releases the Ski Area Operator and waives all claims with respect thereto. . . .(Fillingham v. Big White Ski Resort Limited,2017 BCSC 1702)
Also a large, highly visible notice that contained detailed language substantially identical to the Exclusion was posted at all ticket locations at Big White.
The judge concluded that given the words of the exclusion, it would be unreasonable for the claimant to expect Big White to be looking out for his well-being. This was also not a case where an overriding public policy outweighs the case in favour of enforcement of the exclusion.
The exclusion on the back of the day pass provided a complete defence to the claims against Big White and the personal injury claim was dismissed.