Skier Collision Results in Severe Fracture

On January 10, 2016, the Plaintiff, P.T. and the Defendant, Sonia Ceranek, were skiing at Keystone Ski Resort. They were both descending the Flying Dutchman trail at Keystone Ski Resort. P.T. was skiing downhill of Ms. Ceranek, in control of his speed and course and plainly visible to uphill skiers. Ms. Ceranek was descending Flying Dutchman from uphill of him.

Suddenly and without warning, Ms. Ceranek collided into P.T. from uphill, behind, and at a high rate of speed. Following the accident, Ski Patrol transported P.T. to the Keystone Medical Center. There, X-rays showed a comminuted fracture at the junction of proximal and middle thirds of his femur with a large comminuted element. The shaft had been displaced medially towards the vessels.

P.T.’s blood pressure became unstable, Flight for Life was called. However, weather conditions scrubbed the flight. The medical team decided to transport P.T. to St. Anthony Summit Hospital for care as a Level 1 trauma activation patient. The ambulance record narrative notes that P.T. said “he was skiing when he was struck on the R side by a snowboarder.”

Definitive radiology and intraoperative findings determined that Mr. Thomas had sustained two major fractures: a closed displaced comminuted right subtrochanteric femur fracture; and a closed right lateral unicondylar tibial plateau fracture, Schatzker type 1. Moreover, P.T. suffered a right lateral meniscal tear.

Notably, P.T. told his medical care-givers at the hospital that the cause of his injuries was an “out-of-control skier ran into him.” He was discharged from St. Anthony Summit on January 16, 2016. He was admitted on February 10, 2016 to Sky Ridge Medical Center for his pulmonary blood clotting secondary to the fractures.

The medical billings plus past lost wages total economic losses of $213,663.49. On the economic damages, alone, an additional $17,093.08 would be added to a judgment for pre-judgment interest. Thus Ms. Ceranek’s liability for economic losses was $230,756.57.

P.T. settled for policy limits of $305,000.