What was meant to be a ski trip in another state recently turned into a tragedy when a New Jersey man suffered a fatal injury. The 46-year-old man died on a recent Thursday in an incident that authorities ruled to be an accident. According to records, this was the first fatal chairlift incident at this resort since 2016 when a woman died after she was thrown from the lift. Following that accident, a report determined that the lift operator materially contributed to the accident, which would have been grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
Although the investigation is ongoing, a preliminary report indicates that witnesses described it as a chairlift accident. According to them, the man fell through a gap that was left by a seat that was in an upright position instead of down. Investigators say the man’s coat was caught as he slipped through the gap.
Reportedly, the coat became wrapped around the skier’s head and neck, compromising his airway. The man was removed from the chairlift, and fellow skiers say some of them attempted to perform CPR. However, their efforts were in vain, and the man succumbed to positional asphyxia before he could be resuscitated.
Though the outcome of this investigation is still unknown, the preliminary information suggests that the man’s failure to lower the safety bar was the proximate cause of the fatal accident. For the victim’s surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death claim, they will have to document evidence of negligence on behalf of the resort or perhaps the manufacturer of the chairlift. If a loved one is the victim of a fatal accident on the property of another in New Jersey, an experienced premises liability attorney can help determine whether legal recourse is available and, if so, assist in pursuing justice through the civil court system.