The Oregon Supreme Court has allowed a petition for review in paralyzed snowboarder Myles Bagley’s lawsuit against Mt. Bachelor ski resort. 

State Appeals Court Upheld Circuit Court Decision

The Oregon State Appeals Court upheld in September 2013 a Deschutes County Circuit Court decision to toss out the $21.5 million lawsuit filed in 2008 against the ski area. The court ruled that Mt. Bachelor was not responsible for the injuries and ultimate paralysis of Myles Bagley, then an 18-year-old snowboarder, who was paralyzed from the waist down after going over a jump in an expert terrain park in February 2006.

Oregon Supreme Court Allows Petition for Review

Now, the Oregon Supreme Court will allow a petition for review on two issues: whether the negligence liability release agreement that Bagley signed prior to using the ski facility as a non-negotiable condition to entering a ski area violates public policy, and whether such a release agreement is “unconscionable under Oregon law.”

In the initial lawsuit, Bagley’s attorney argued that the ski area was negligent in the jump’s construction, maintenance and inspection, and if the jump had been designed differently, his injuries would not have been so serious. Mt. Bachelor argued Bagley waived his right to sue when he bought the pass and signed release forms.

In the appeal, Bagley argued that the release agreement he signed was void because it was “contrary to public policy” because of the different levels of power the ski area and Bagley had in the agreement, as well as the public interest of keeping skiers and snowboarders safe from the negligence of ski area operators.