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Express Secures Compensation for Injured Snowboarder

Client Stories

Chris, a professional snowboard instructor, sustained a serious wrist injury at an indoor ski slope. The accident occurred after a fall from a defective piece of freestyle equipment. The injury not only impacted his employment but left him requiring assistance with day-to-day tasks. Seeking legal help, he turned to Express Solicitors and Daniel Slade, himself an avid snowboarder. This is his story…

“Snowboarding is a passion of mine, so I am immediately drawn to cases involving snow sport injuries. Chris’s case wasn’t straightforward, he was employed at the ski slope where the accident happened and had a couple of other jobs all of which were impacted by the injury. Liability was disputed by the Defendant throughout and his prognosis for a full recovery wasn’t as positive as we hoped. The team and I had to put a robust case together and fight Chris’s corner to get him the compensation he rightly deserved, and most importantly get him back on the slope.”

Daniel Slade CEO (Legal), Express Solicitors


Chris has been snowboarding since he was 10 years old, it being a true passion of his. He has been on numerous winter ski trips and even spent ski seasons up in the mountains. As an advanced snowboarder, he holds qualifications to teach at all levels. At the time of the accident, he was employed as an instructor at an indoor ski slope, all while juggling two other jobs.

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Chris was snowboarding on his day off at the indoor ski slope where he worked. The freestyle jumps and equipment were set out on the slope and available for people to use. Chris approached a 1.5-meter-long box to execute a freestyle move he had successfully completed over twenty times that day. While attempting a 360 manoeuvre off the box, he reached 270 degrees when his board clipped a damaged part of the box. In an effort to break his fall, he instinctively put his hand down, unfortunately bearing the brunt of the impact on his wrist.

Injuries and impact  

Chris underwent multiple surgeries to correct his wrist injury, which left him with cartilage damage, supportive pins, reduced movement and a scar. Consequently, he had to take time off from all his other jobs to undergo surgery, relying on his flatmate and partner for assistance with day-to-day activities during his recovery. He still suffers with arthritic type pain, years after the accident.

The Case

Chris, supported by Express, filed a claim against the ski slope. The argument centred around the fact that the freestyle box set out that day was damaged. Despite another staff member flagging the issue to management the day before, nothing was done to rectify the problem.

The Defendant in response denied liability. Stating there wasn’t a defect with the freestyle box, arguing they did in fact undertake reasonable inspections and monitoring of equipment. They denied Chris was as accomplished snowboarder, and in their view, he wasn’t experienced in freestyle boarding and was attempting a ‘trick’ beyond his abilities. Furthermore, they cited the inherent risk that comes with freestyling and believing our client should have been aware of this.

Our counter arguments

Reflecting on the Defendants response Daniel Slade representing Chris said,

“We were surprised by the Defendant’s response, given Chris was employed by them as a snowboard instructor and had been for a number of years prior to the accident. Throughout that time, he has acquired numerous recognised industry qualifications, including certifications to teach freestyle, which were prerequisites for his employment. Additionally, we had video footage of Chris executing a variety of freestyle moves, contrary to the Defendant’s claim that they were beyond his ability. This evidence showcased his experience and competency to snowboard at a high level, contradicting the narrative presented by the Defendant.”

Evidence was also sought to disprove the assertion that the equipment was inspected and deemed fit for purpose. Messages from team members involved in the incident the day before were presented as evidence. According to these accounts, it was revealed that the equipment would often be left out overnight, with the ‘piste basher’ manoeuvring around them, pushing snow against the damaged box, in doing so covering up the defect. Furthermore, it was common knowledge among staff that inspections of the equipment were not conducted regularly.

We also utilised social media posts shared by the ski slope to demonstrate their awareness of the damaged box. One notable instance occurred days after the accident, when they initially posted on their social channels promoting the freestyle equipment. However, they later edited the post, acknowledging that the box in question wouldn’t be available due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.

Our team diligently worked to gather evidence that would substantiate the claim that the Defendant was aware of the damaged box, failed to conduct adequate safety checks, and establish his competence as a snowboarder.


Before the case could proceed to court, and acknowledging the substantial evidence our team had amassed, the Defendant reached out with a settlement offer, which was accepted.

Reflecting on the conclusion of the case, Daniel shared, “The team and I were thrilled to achieve a positive result for Chris. We understood the challenges he faced navigating the legal process while still working at the ski slope. However, it was crucial for him to receive the compensation he rightfully deserved. Hopefully, his experience will serve to raise standards and prevent future accidents from happening. It’s heartening to hear that he’s now back on the board and I hope already planning his next trip. It’s certainly a rewarding aspect of our work.”

Sport Injury claims

Our expert personal injury claim solicitors have over two decades of experience helping people who’ve suffered sports injuries through no fault of their own. If you would like to speak to our team about a sports injury claim, you can contact our team by following the link.

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