Teen Stranded on Lift at Sugar Mountain, Family Sues
SAM Magazine—Sugar Mountain, N.C., March 3, 2017—The family of a teenager who was stranded on a chairlift after it closed last February at Sugar Mountain, N.C., is suing the resort for $75,000.
The teenager suffered frostbite from being on the chair for “several hours” in single-digit wind chills, and broke several bones after deciding his best option was to drop 30 feet to the ground and seek help himself. The fall knocked him unconscious, and after waking up he crawled several hundred yards to a terrain park that was open for night skiing, where other guests found him and called ski patrol.
According to the lawsuit, the Tennessee family contends workers at the resort “were dismissive” when the youth’s mother reported him missing. Instead of immediately launching a rescue effort, staff speculated he “probably wandered off the ski slope or trails,” according to the suit.
Resort president Gunther Jochl refutes that claim. “We immediately went searching for him,” Jochl said. “We conducted a search and were within minutes of locating him when he decided to jump.”
The lawsuit claims resort staff were negligent in failing to check the lift for any riders before shutting it down that afternoon.