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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi recently went on a ski holiday last year in France. I booked

Customer Question

Hi recently went on a ski holiday last year in France. I booked a package with UK Ski Sports package provider for 6 days. This included hotel, tickets, and snowboarding instructor. I have been skiing for some years and decided to take up snowboarding a couple of years ago. I was assessed on the first day and put into a group with 4 other people. It was led a by a so called experienced snowboarding instructor who was a part of the package. During the first few days we went on some blue and red runs (gradually get harder starting with green, blue, black and red) this was on piste. On the fifth day the instructor said we should to some off pisting snowboarding, I was very anxious about this so were some of the others. I attempted this but had an accident and collided with a tree, I broke my elbow and twisted my knee. I want to know if sue the instructor/tour operator and are they both equally liable and what sort of money could I recover?
Many thanks.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What loss have you suffered please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The cost of booking package around £1000, and 8 weeks off work, for which my wages would work out to around £3200.00. This was due to the injuries sustained.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I am having a few connection problems at the moment. Please bear with me and I will respond as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Sorry for the delay.

You have a potential claim against whoever provided the instructor which appeared to be the package provider if you can prove that the instructor was negligent.

What does not help you is the fact that you say you were anxious about this because you are always free to say that you did not want to do it. That will mean that you volunteered to do this, you did not have to do and you
will always at liberty to refuse. There is case law, but that is with regard to the case against the MoD where the recruit had inadequate training to do a particular job, did it because he was ordered to, and was then injured. He sued the MoD successfully.

Even if the defendants to raise that, I would not let it be fatal to the claim if the solicitor is happy to proceed

You would have to prove that the instructor was responsible for you hitting the tree because he had assessed your experience as being better than it was but he still did not make you do it.

You have a claim, I think you have a good claim, but I do not think that it is an easy one and I think this is one that I would refer to a firm of solicitors that deals with injury claims which occur on holiday. Possibly you will find a no win no fee firm. Taking tis to court on your own could be risky and you could end up liable for costs.

The employer is what is known as vicariously liable for the conduct of their employees, agents and servants. So even if the instructor is self-employed, the company is still liable.

Injuries are paid on a fixed scale decided by the Judicial Studies Board. I do not have a copy with me at the moment but from memory, a broken elbow is worth just under £5000 depending on the severity. The twisted knee, if it is
a soft tissue injury is not worth that much, probably under £1000. You would be able to recover any loss of earnings and expenses incurred on top of that which you can relate to the accident.

When you see these very big claims where people have been paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds, that is generally not in respect of the injury, but is, in respect of ongoing loss of earnings, mobility and amenity.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I have been sent a case by a friend I have been speaking to, can you check this out and see if it changes your position?


Anderson V Lyotier and another (Snowbizz Ltd) ?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi did you receive my last message ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No, I didn't.

You will find the judgment here

Look at clauses 4 and 5.

A substantial proportion of the rest of it hinges around the facts which may be similar or different to your case because it goes into great detail.

Move forward clause numbers 142, and 145 and 146, which is the conclusion where you will see that the claimant got two thirds of the amount claimed because there was an allegation of contributory negligence which is the fact that he was free not to undertake the slope.

The rest of my answer therefore remains the same