Settlement Reached in Snow Groomer Accident | Frenkel & Frenkel
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Jan 10
2014

Settlement Reached in Snow Groomer Accident

snow groomer A family reached a settlement with the ski resort involved where a teenager almost lost his leg in a snow groomer accident, says Frenkel & Frenkel .

A lawsuit filed by the family of a Canadian boy who almost lost his leg after being run over and dragged by a snow groomer has been settled before going to trial. The incident, which occurred in 2008, severely injured the leg of Austin Miles, who is now 18.

Incident Details

Miles, who was 12 at the time, was on a school trip with about 120 people on January 30, 2008, at Mount Brighton Ski Resort in Southeast Michigan. Miles had just skied down a beginner slope when he was run over by the snow groomer, driven by Robert Sturgis. Despite the fact that bystanders were yelling for him to stop, Sturgis continued another 200 feet, dragging Miles with him. Miles was minutes away from having his left leg amputated when rescuers were able to borrow a machine that cuts through steel from a nearby oilrig to free him. It took one hour and 15 minutes to free Miles from the snow groomer, as his mother, stepfather and sister looked on. A rescue worker described Miles' leg as being wrapped like a string around a finger. His ankle was broken in three places; his femur was broken and his tibia also was broken to the point that another bone had to be broken to set it properly. He spent more than two weeks in a Michigan hospital before he could be moved back to Ontario, Canada, where he lived.

Multiple Surgeries

Miles has undergone eight surgeries and may need another to alleviate bone rubbing in his knee. His father says his son experiences pain every day, especially during bad weather. Miles walks without assistance, and has a positive outlook. He is able to occasionally run and play sports despite his traumatic injury. Miles is in his first year at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

Driver Negligent and Reckless

The lawsuit charged Sturgis with being negligent and reckless in the incident, citing the amount of time it took him to stop despite the pleas of bystanders. In addition, the snow groomer had a cracked mirror and visibility through the windows was inadequate. The suit also claimed that Mount Brighton failed to post notices, which are required, that snow-grooming operations were underway on the slopes.

The settlement amounts were not released, and Miles' father would not state terms of the settlement. When the negligence or recklessness of another person is suspected as the cause or a contributing factor in an accident that causes injury or death, a personal injury lawsuit may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free consultation regarding an accident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by the negligence of another person.