TORONTO, May 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Blue Mountain recently reached a settlement with Ian McAdam, who, at the age of 13, was rendered a quadriplegic when downhill mountain biking at its resort in 2007. After years of protracted litigation, the parties reached a settlement after a series of trial motions but before the first witness took the stand. Though Ian and his family cannot disclose or communicate any terms of the settlement, the negotiations, or the amounts settled upon, they are pleased with the result.
The lawyer for the boy, Patrick Brown stated, "We are very pleased for Ian and his family. He is a fighter and a remarkable young man. His attitude and courage throughout, has and will continue to be an inspiration to all those who were involved with his case." Ian is looking forward to moving ahead with his career in the music and video industry.
The lawsuit that was issued with the Court against Blue Mountain claimed $21 million by Patrick Brown and co-counsel, Kate Mazzucco. In the claim it was alleged that Blue Mountain failed to have the proper safety measures in place to assess and monitor young people, like Ian, coming to the hill. Following Ian's injuries, Blue Mountain implemented new safeguards to assess the skill level of people under the age of 16, removed certain jumps, and required additional equipment to be worn by riders. A mandatory video for parents was also created.
Brown said, "It is nice to see change happening to ensure fewer young people, like Ian, are not seriously hurt while enjoying this active sport." He went on to state, "It is very important for all facilities running extreme sports to take additional precautions when it comes to children. It is simply not enough to leave it open and rely on waivers and signage. We know from the experts that kids often have an unrealistic understanding of their skill level. At times, they take risk well beyond their capabilities. They at times make bad decisions. Additional protections must be in place."
Parents should not assume that these facilities are regulated because in most cases they are not. There are virtually no standards set by the government that must be followed nor are they required to report the number of children getting injured. As Ian's father, Gary McAdam, stated, "It is very scary to think that we have a wealth of standards and regulations to protect adults in their privately run work places, but nothing when it comes to private facilities running profitable extreme sports facilities for kids."
As summer approaches, children will be off to camps, playgrounds and for some, extreme sporting facilities. Before permitting your child to participate in these activities, all parents should know that these private facilities are for the most part, not regulated, not subject to government oversight, and may have very few standards or safety procedures in place.
It is hoped that Ian's experience will continue to result in positive changes for safety in the outdoor sports industry.
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SOURCE: McLeish Orlando LLP
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