Kanawha judge transfers suit against Snowshoe over alleged snow tubing injury

By John O'Brien | Sep 17, 2013

MARLINTON – A lawsuit against Snowshoe Mountain, Inc., that alleges a snow tubing injury has been transferred to Pocahontas County.

On May 15, Kanawha Circuit Court Judge James C. Stucky granted a motion to transfer the case filed by Snowshoe and Intrawest Resorts. Plaintiffs William and Kathy Brazell were silent on the issue of venue.

“In this case, Mr. Brazell’s accident occurred at the Snowshoe resort in Pocahontas County; Snowshoe resides in Pocahontas County; most of the evidence in this case is likely to be located in Pocahontas County; many of the individuals who may be called upon to testify in this case, such as co-workers and first responders, continue to work at and/or live near the Snowshoe resort; much of the discovery in this case will likely be conducted in Pocahontas County; and any jury view in this case would be conducted in Pocahontas County,” Stucky wrote.

The lawsuit was filed Jan. 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court by attorneys Anthony J. Majestro and J.C. Powell.

It alleges Brazell was snow tubing at the Silver Creek Ski Area on Feb. 3, 2011.

Brazell claims due to the negligently designed and maintained run and barrier wall, he traveled down the trail at an excessive rate of speed and landed on his head and neck.

An employee met Brazell at the scene, but failed to render first aid, according to the suit.

Brazell claims the employee also failed to contact medical personnel to render appropriate on-site medical aid.

The defendants acknowledged the extremely dangerous conditions at the time of Brazell’s injuries as an announcement subsequently came over the Public Announcement system advising tubing customers to drag their feet, according to the suit.

Brazell claims he was left by the unknown Snowshoe employee and had to walk down unassisted the remaining portion of the hill.

The defendants also further acknowledged the extremely dangerous conditions by radio to all Snowshoe employees that “We have a spinal injury, you might want to close down,” according to the suit.

Brazell claims he went to the first-aid station and was transported via ambulance to Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a cervical fracture, and then transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center for further treatment.

The defendants failed to provide safety instructions; failed to install a catchment feature at the barrier wall; failed to provide and/or render first-aid at the scene of Brazell’s injuries; and failed to properly test and maintain the snow tube trail to ensure safety, according to the suit.

From the West Virginia Record: Reach John O’Brien at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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