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Lift Injury - $1.2million awarded

Discussion in 'Perisher' started by blutek, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    A Sydney GP who was hit in the groin by a ski-lift at Perisher has been awarded more than a million dollars in damages.

    Kirrawee doctor Ghita Nair-Smith suffered serious injuries after being struck from behind by the handrail of a chair lift while she and a friend were waiting to travel to a ski-run on July 18, 2003. She remained painfully straddled on the armrest and was eventually pulled into her seat by a friend.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/gp-gets-1...l#ixzz2h537n922
     
    #1 blutek, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  2. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    ... and we wonder why lift tickets cost so much.
     
  3. Mr. Mook

    Mr. Mook One of Us

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    yeah saw that.
    Bit gob-smacked at the amount.
    Seems that the courts feel people have no responsibility for their own actions when visiting Perisher.

    I wonder if they will look at putting the six seater in a little quicker.
     
  4. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Been discussed previously. Perisher was obviously neglegent.
     
  5. SnowAndrew

    SnowAndrew One of Us

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    You also have to wonder given the length of time the double & triple spent out of action towards the end of the season.
     
    #5 SnowAndrew, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  6. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    A nasty accident that shouldn't happen but sometimes they do and the system deals with the aftermath in the most appropriate manner.

    Bar down should have been rectified before it caused an issue. People that are feeling unsafe are unpredictable.

    Insurance is insurance. I hope the injured person heals in time.
     
  7. Normo

    Normo Mostly Harmless Ski Pass: Gold

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    .....and Perishers insurance premiums will go up, legal costs will have to be recouped and the price of their product will have to be increased to cover that. It may also cause a few people who have had untidy moments on the mountain to have a go at the pot of gold.
    Thousands upon thousands of people have been safely (apart from the odd whack in the leg from a mis-timed bump) loaded on the triple, before and after this incident occurred. The system works. Once a blue moon, shit happens.
    I hate the word "negligence". It indicates that no-one cared or took precaution.
    I also worry that, in high profile cases, the awards can be substantially higher, relative to the disability suffered, than might be the case in less public instances.
    Phew. Did I dance around that one OK?
     
  8. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    only just .....

    given the number of people safely conveyed by the lift system the random set of fast happening events that results in a serious injury (by lift operation) are quite rare.
     
  9. Normo

    Normo Mostly Harmless Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nicely summed up, Duck.
    So Perisher weren't negligent. Just a whole lot of stuff happened quickly and an injury was suffered.
     
  10. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    The injury judgement outcome appears based on the fact that someone was injured by a lift when the injury could\should have been avoided.

    The bar down situation should\could have been handled in such a way that any confused response (or other wise) by the customer did not result in an injury i.e. lift stop. Bar down is not common (depends greatly on weather conditions and lift type and location) but it is part of the general lift running scenario. When things go pear shaped the loading customer is the most vulnerable due to the time allowed to move and natural reaction movements being hindered by ski equipment. The body says "natural movement now" and the equipment says "unnatural movement required"

    Sometimes an operator distraction or customer reaction\action can escalate quickly. This one sounds out of the ordinary and quite painful and damaging. A mechanical wedgy so to speak. Not nice and dangerous in the shear force of an operating lift.

    I have worked lifts for multiple seasons and this one sounds like a bit of a hesitant mess by all concerned and the results nasty.

    I was not there, I could be completely wrong. Glad its settled and hope the skier recovers and skis again and that operating procedures are reviewed and staff training kept to its high standard.
     
  11. Normo

    Normo Mostly Harmless Ski Pass: Gold

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    You dance much more gracefully than I.
    I'd like to think, if something like that happened to me, that I'd be more inclined to apologise to the lifty for my lack of co-ordination, thank the ski patrol for providing assistance and rely on my medical cover to sort out the recovery.
    Just not a fan of blame and litigation, I guess.
     
    Egbert likes this.
  12. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    "you would like to think" .... in a perfect world where all injured people are cared for without seeking compensation .... alas, our wonderful capitalist society demands that we get up and go to work or we slide off the treadmill and get left behind.

    To work we need our health.

    other than that, you, like everyone else with a serious life changing injury would use the compensation system as it is designed. Of that I have no doubt whatsoever
     
  13. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Like new Zealand?
     
  14. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    She didn't simply suffer a scratch and some inconvenience, she was seriously injured with long term health management requirements, and some loss of sexual function and work capability and future lifestyle issues. I have a feeling she'd much prefer to be uninjured and without the dollars.

    'You' might like to think you'd not sue, but those providing you with long term health and financial care while you were out of the workforce might look to seek some compensation through the insurance and legal system.

    A number of elements of her claim were refused.
     
    #14 climberman, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  15. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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  16. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes. One of the few things NZ's got right [​IMG] One of the main reasons that skiing/any adventure sport is so much cheaper in NZ than Australia.
     
    #16 teckel, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  17. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo Ski Pass: Gold

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    [- Deleted by Admin -]
     
  18. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    The lifty tried to hold the chair back for her to get out of the way. He couldn't, let go and the chair hit her with extra force. I'm sure that since the litigation Perisher have changed their practices to make sure this doesn't happen again (after the demands of their insurance company).
     
  19. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The real risk is Perisher (and all the other resorts) hiring druggie losers who are more interested in partying, and are at work with drug and alcohol hangovers hampering what little wits and reflexes they may have in the first place. Peanuts and monkeys. Maybe pay more, and expect more.

    That said I know many lifties from Thredbo, and the ones who are always there are not like that. But there are always some, usually only do one season, or even get fired before its over. Matter of time. IMO resorts need to rethink employment, to inspire loyalty, and dedication to the work. I personally saw two incidents at Thredbo that could have ended badly, neither of which happened with a regular in attendance, both of which were negligent.
     
  20. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Astro .... no form is bad form

    and what the nontubbieteles said
     
  21. pansnow

    pansnow First Runs

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    I'm guessing that the resorts have drug and alcohol testing for the lifties. Maybe they need to increase the testing. I worked for one of the major Australian energy companies in the office and we had drug and alcohol testing at random about every week. Also increasing the training with a very strong aspect being safety. I was in Canada about 10 years ago and the service that you got from the lifties was fantastic. In perishers case the insurance company will want to have things improved
     
  22. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Drugs and ski bums are like peaches and cream. They go together. Let's not completely sanitise skiing in the name of removing risk from our lives.

    Incidentally I don't think momentary in attention is "negligence" and I thought Courts had moved past imposing standards of perfection. Seems not.
     
  23. Whiteman

    Whiteman A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Seems a huge payout for something she obviously contributed to.
     
  24. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    The trouble with threads like this is .... the speculation.

    Work lifts for a bit. Download on the Guthega chair perhaps ... with beginners carrying skis in an endless 4:00pm commuter flow.

    Luckily with newer infrastructure much of the "danger" has been negated but operator attention still needs to be on the ball at all times. SFA to do with drugs and alcohol, more to do with paying attention and taking the job seriously whilst smiling and herding all types of people and mind processes in a very unfamiliar environment.

    You sell the ticket, you buy the experience of the operator.

    Happy skiing
    Happy life.
     
  25. Snow Addict

    Snow Addict Part of the Furniture

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    The negligence here was not the "momentary inattention". Para 167 of the first judgment:

    @Whiteman - she panicked on seeing the chair coming with the bar down and tried to get out of the way. That's how she got collected, it seems. In that sense, she contributed to how the accident happened - but do you really mean she was at fault in trying to get out of the way?

    The first judgment asked this question and answered it 'no'. Para 170:

     
    #25 Snow Addict, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  26. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    A "bar down" situation should be observed before the chair gets to the download side of the bull wheel. Being a lifty is a tough gig sometimes, shit happens real quick and the loading skier has nowhere to go except prone under the chair or a massive sidestep out of the way (compounded by the number of skiers loading) .... and the average Joe or Josephine is not capable of such moves.
     
    #26 dawooduck, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  27. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    honestly, I didn't think you could sink any lower in my books, but you just did ... Wtf is wrong with you?
     
    #27 trappers, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  28. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think duck knows more about this case than he's letting on - see this thread of 15 months ago - https://www.ski.com.au/xf/posts/1985845
    I asked him there if he knew the woman, and he didn't answer.
     
    #28 teckel, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  29. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    just what this thread needs ... a conspiracy [​IMG]

    Sometimes I get this weird idea I should mail you a cat
     
    #29 dawooduck, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  30. Dakinsnow

    Dakinsnow First Runs

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    It is unfortunate this happened, but I think what is important to remember is this occurred in the 2003 season.....10 years ago. I would like to think Perisher have over the past 10 years improved on their WHSO and lift loading/unloading practices. There are always going to be accidents and as skiers we have to accept some risk involved with lifts. Lifts make our ski experience easier/quicker. We all know the dangers of skiing, unfortunately today everyone wants to find someone to blame other than ourselves.
     
  31. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't see anything in there that's inconsistent with what I said. They could run it super slow or add more staff (itself no guarantee against inattention) but do we really want or need that? The incident was due to momentary inattention in the context of a perfectly reasonable work system. IMHO.
     
    #31 Annabuzzy, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  32. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've heard this incident is part of the reason why the triple isn't bumped anymore. Can anyone confirm or deny?
     
  33. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    You created a brand new account just to post this nonsense.

    Welcome to paradise Australia, peoples be hating, peoples be conspiring, peoples be making stuff up, peoples be arguing made up stuff, peoples be forming little quorums to make more stuff up.

    more cats required
     
    #33 dawooduck, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
    Kletterer likes this.
  34. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Who suggested any conspiracy. You're paranoid about stalking, conspiracies, whatever. Get your hand off it. If you happen to know this woman, you have a far better insight into this than the rest of us, and therefore I might accord your opinion more import than I normally would. But you still haven't answered the question because of your hangups about conspiracies.
     
    #34 teckel, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  35. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Ive also heard that.
    Also mount P gets alot of senior staff lurking around thats for sure.
     
    #35 Donza, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  36. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Implying that I may know the women that was injured is a constructed nonsense that is being accorded the respect it deserves and I find your approach to my posts in regard to the topic of this thread highly insulting.
     
    #36 dawooduck, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  37. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh dear!! I find your approach to most of my posts to be highly insulting. Taste of medicine?
     
  38. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    I actually thought the payout was quite small.
    considering the length of time .
     
  39. mauricem

    mauricem Addicted

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    I know its bad form but I couldnt help but [​IMG]. Does sound like a nasty injury you wouldn't wish on anyone, highlights the critical responsibility the lifties have for a low paid position.
    A lot can go wrong in a very short moment in the loading bay. Ive had a couple of close calls, one my fault in my first season and another caused by a punter but not noticed by lift staff till it was all over.
     
    #39 mauricem, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  40. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Although ten years ago, a lot of big organizations only respond when forced to by a negative judgement. Having read about the outcome early in the season, I thought I observed a different approach by the lifties on the triple ie say a warning but not touch the chair, leave it to the skier. Or maybe I imagined it. Bloody thing still hurts when it hits the back of your calf.
     
  41. nfip

    nfip Cold n' Rusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's not a good thing this at all if it was me I would not be happy, one of my kids I would be less happy....but , don't get me wrong, we're not out there playing lawn bowls.
    We've all been hammered one way or another whether it be a chair slam in the calf (probs multiples every day at the Cow !!), T-bars slipping from hands having to duck your head (no pun intended), or even snapping off the line and flying thru the air....
    It's sort of half the fun !
    End of the day tho' it is a serious risky gig to go play there and if we choose to rock and roll then that's simply our choice to put ourselves in a reasonably unpredictable situation .
    Thinking I have read on the tickets / pass somewhere it now says (words to the effect) about injury or death, including due to negligence of others.
     
  42. Dylan

    Dylan Hard Yards

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    Not sure how I feel about it all, not knowing all the details (and never will, having not witnessed it). Working the triple in 2009, a few managers and legal guys came to inspect the chairs, testing how far you can pull/swing a chair back and how it falls back into place. It was worrying how much swing they were giving it..
    On the other hand, the safety bars often get blown down - this isn't something the lifty at the unload can see and inform the other guys of. We had many issues with that, and there really is limited time to act. Watching the chairs coming down the hill into the load terminal isn't of highest priority, and it doesn't help that the person standing between the loading area and chairs coming down into the bullwheel is kind of facing away from them. Fortunately the bars are quite easy to raise and we didn't have any issues.
     
  43. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    They can write it on the ticket all they like, if an employee is negligent, company is still responsible
     
    #43 TOFF, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  44. kiter

    kiter One of Us

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    A good reason to get rid of the antiquated prices of crap and replace them with decent modern high speed detachables.should have been done 2 decades ago and saved this woman her pain at the very least and given a better reason to everyone else a better experience and a better reason to visit the resort
     
  45. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Will you be the first to complain when lift ticket prices double to pay for these white elephants?
     
    #45 CarveMan, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  46. kiter

    kiter One of Us

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    They won't we are in a competitive world .why do you call them white elephants .i we'll remember the days prior to high speed detachables they were crap.perhaps we should get rid of snow making w,what a white elephant that is eh. .i hit a bit of thredbo fresh snowmaking this year .it stopped me dead in its tracks and I ejected out of my bindings and landed on my face .didnt mind tho ,without it no skiing on the mid and lower slopes.
    I'd much rather pay 1 hunge per day for high speed chairs and snowmaking than the equivalent 80 s money for a day ticket for none of the Obote ( correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure that day tickets in 1983 were 25 bucks per day which is around 100 in today's money
     
  47. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    They're white elephants because they cost multiples of any fixed grip chair. Impossibly to justify the expenditure for such a short season to recoup the costs. Hence the tickets skyrocketing, it's simple economics.

    Snowmaking is a totally different proposition as it allows the lift companies to charge full price for more days of the season.

    The other fallacy about detachables is they don't move any more people per hour than a fixed grip.
     
  48. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some load platform work and a working policy that includes visual checking each chair as they approach the load on the dowload side would greatly improve the customers load experience.

    The quad chair load has been improved by simply building a load feed box and a new load surface.
     
  49. Snow Addict

    Snow Addict Part of the Furniture

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    Para 143 of the first judgment:
     
    #49 Snow Addict, Oct 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  50. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    <span style="text-decoration: line-through">Sometimes</span> Quite often I like to let others flesh out the discussion with items already known, that way it is just not “my opinion†being presented. [​IMG]

    I find the &quot;blame the injured party as a base ideology&quot; based on &quot;any injury claims will increase costs&quot; thought process a very interesting social response.

    Do people actually think blaming the injured person, as a first response, somehow prevents such random accidents\number of lifted skiers happening ?

    Lazy discourse is as dangerous as fleeting inattention in the bigger picture.

    A sequence of momentary inattention events followed by an on the spot response to fix the original problem (bar down in this case) is mostly unpreventable in the world of humans controlling machinery that interacts with other humans. It will happen sometime unless systems are so rigid as too be unworkable or costly that the original process is deemed too expensive or cumbersome.

    That is what the compensation system deals with. The random stuff.

    Lazy discourse, well that's just lazy discourse.

    TGIF
     
    #50 dawooduck, Oct 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013