‘It wasn’t about me at all’
EAGLE-VAIL – A skier who unsuccessfully sued Vail Resorts said her lawsuit eventually became about more than the injuries she claims she suffered on the Lionshead bridge. Julia Parsons said she also was fighting for the larger skiing community. “It wasn’t about me at all,” Parsons said. “It was about our safety on the mountain and (the ski resort’s) responsibilities.”Parsons sued Vail Resorts, and was counter-sued, after she allegedly cut her knee on a protruding metal bracket on the old Lionshead skier bridge in February 2004.A judge dismissed Parsons’ claims against Vail Resorts last month when he ruled the season pass waiver Parsons signed was clear in saying that she assumed all risks and couldn’t sue. He also said the waiver was not in conflict with the Colorado Ski Safety Act.The judge earlier ruled against Parsons’ claim that Vail Resorts didn’t comply with the Ski Safety Act when it didn’t mark or cover the bracket.Last Friday, Vail Resorts agreed to drop its suit, which sought legal fees and court costs. Parsons agreed to not appeal any rulings in the case.”I was disappointed in the outcome,” Parsons said. “I felt like I was under fire the whole time.”Parsons, 46, of Eagle-Vail, has lived in the valley since 1998 and is a real-estate agent. She said she still skis, and has 23 days on the hill this year.”I’ll continue skiing,” she said.Parsons, who describes herself as an advanced skier, said she was skiing in control on the day of the accident. She didn’t fall and didn’t lose her skis, she said. Vail Resorts has questioned Parsons’ account of her accident.Parsons said she doesn’t think the end of this case will signal the end of the discussion about ski resorts’ liability.”If you sign a release for a season pass, you waive all your rights, but if you go buy a daily ticket, you have more rights,” she said. “Why is that? Because we pay less money? It doesn’t make sense.”Parsons said she received only encouragement from other local residents.”(The community) believed in what I was fighting for,” she said. “And the fact that they don’t think it’s right that when you buy a season pass, you waive all your rights. Nobody even realized it, for one. And, for two, that’s absurd.”
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