Johnny Kotun, age 28, was an expert recreational skier. On March 25, 2007 at 4:00 PM, Kotun was traversing along a lower cat walk across the “Wilbere cutoff” and was headed toward one of the lower parking lots at Snowbird Ski Resort. Defendant, a 16-year-old off-duty junior ski instructor, was descending the cutoff, directly under the Wilbere chair lift. Defendant took a jump off of a transition, and performed a 360. He landed, carved two wide arc turns and collided at high speed into Kotun. Kotun was seen and heard waving his arms and shouting at defendant to avoid him in the moments before the collision. At impact, Kotun was ejected from his skis and thrown into a nearby tree. Defendant also went airborne into the tree. About 25′ from the point of impact was a large, orange SLOW banner. The testimony from witnesses (including chairlift passengers who reported to the scene) and the defendant formed a basis for our expert to establish a minimum speed at point of impact > 42 mph.
Defendant sustained a non-displaced pelvic fracture, a concussion (no helmet) and bruising to his kidneys and spleen. He recovered without any impairment.
Kotun sustained mandibular and maxillary fractures. Although he was wearing a helmet, Kotun also sustained an intra cerebral and frontal lobe hemorrhage, and a severe shear injury.
He recovered from the facial fractures but is now hemi-plegic on his left side, and has significant cognitive and speech impairments. His ability to live independently and earn an independent living has been lost.
The parties settled for the policy limits of $1.5 Million. A significant portion of the settlement payment was structured. The case was filed in Salt Lake County District Court and local counsel on the case were Craig Adamson and Craig Hoggan of Dart Adamson and Donovan of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Past results are no guarantee of future results.