Ohio Ski Law

Primary assumption of inherent danger by skiers pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 4169.01 to 4169.99. Skiers and operators both have duties, with the statutory enumeration of operators’ duties being exhaustive. Operation of a tramway does not constitute operation of a common carrier. Pending legislation, 2005 Ohio Senate Bill 61, would expand the ski safety scheme to explicitly include competitors freestyle skiers, ski tubers, and anyone using the facilities of a ski area; likewise, the examples of inherent risks would be greatly expanded, as would limitation of liability for “injury, death, or loss to person or property.” The proposed bill attempts to make each party responsible only for their own direct breaches of enumerated statutory duties.


Review a few Ski Law cases from Ohio below.

Prior to 2006

Risk of injury presented by fence at ski resort was an inherent risk, and was assumed by snowboarder pursuant to skiing safety statute, so that snowboarder could not recover against operator of resort for injuries sustained by snowboarder when he struck fence after encountering ice on slope and falling. Stone v. Alpine Valley Ski Area, 734 N.E.2d 888 (Ohio Ct. App. 1999). Statutory immunity does not apply when willful and wanton misconduct is alleged in the rental of ski equipment, per Otterbacher v. Brandywine Ski Center, Inc., 1990 WL 72327 (Ohio Ct. App.).