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Clover v. Snowbird Ski Resort

Utah Supreme Court
808 P.2d 1037 (1991)


Facts

While snow skiing in Utah, Margaret Clover (plaintiff) was injured when Chris Zulliger (defendant), an employee of Snowbird Ski Resort (Snowbird) (defendant), collided with her after jumping a crest on the side of an intermediate run. A skier moving relatively quickly would become airborne after the jump because of the steep drop off on the downhill side of the crest. However, due to the steepness of the crest it was impossible for skiers above the crest to see those below. Zulliger made the jump and hit Clover in the head causing her injuries. Clover filed a negligence suit against Snowbird and Zulliger. Specifically, Clover claimed Snowbird negligently designed and maintained its ski runs. Subsequently, Clover settled her claims with Zulliger. Under two separate motions for summary judgment, the trial court dismissed Clover’s claims against Snowbird holding that the state’s Inherent Risk of Skiing Statute, Utah Code Ann. §§ 78-27-51 to -51 barred Clover’s claim of negligent design and maintenance. The trial court reasoned that regardless of a ski resort’s culpability, the resort was not liable for an injury occasioned by one or more of the dangers listed in the statute. Clover appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hall, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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