Missouri Ski Law

No ski safety act.


Guthrie v. Hidden Valley Golf and Ski, Inc., 407 S.W.3d 642 (2013)

Hidden Valley is a golf and ski resort in St. Louis County. The resort included the Polar Plunge Snow Tubing run. Before participating in Polar Plunge Snow Tubing, patrons of the resort were required to purchase a ticket and to read and sign a contract (the Contract) acknowledging the risk of injury posed and agreeing not to sue Defendants if injury occurred. On January 29, 2011, Guthrie purchased a ticket for Polar Plunge Snow Tubing and signed the Contract. Then during a run down the tubing hill, another patron ran into him, breaking his foot. He sued Hidden Valley, the Circuit Court granted summary judgment to Hidden Valley. Guthrie appealed, and the Court of Appeals held that exculpatory language of contract between patron and ski resort was sufficiently bold, obvious, and unambiguous so as to release resort from negligence liability.

Bennett v. Hidden Valley Golf and Ski, Inc., 318 F.3d 868 (8th Cir. 2003) upheld a jury instruction directing them to find for the ski area operator if slope conditions causing injury were “inherent risks” of skiing at time of injury. The court in Lewis v. Snow Creek, Inc., 6 S.W.3d 38 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999) rejected a form waiver as an express assumption of risk based on the circumstances surrounding its execution (in equipment rental line), and identifying as a question of fact precluding summary judgment whether ice conditions on ski run were an “inherent risk.”