Bench Press 38-4: “Ski Buddy” Liability - LawNow Magazine

Bench Press 38-4: “Ski Buddy” Liability

Bench PressMark Kennedy of Colorado died on a heli-skiing expedition when he fell into a tree well.  His widow claimed that he had been paired with a “ski-buddy” who was contractually obliged to stay close to him, keep him in sight and assist or alert guides and other skiers if he saw that his buddy needed help. She also alleged that the buddy, Adrian Coe, owed a duty of care in tort law to Mark Kennedy. She sued Mr. Coe for loss of future earnings over her husband’s death. Madame Justice Fisher of the British Columbia Supreme Court dismissed the action. She found that just because the two men had been paired to ski together there was no basis to find that there was a contract between them. Similarly, she ruled that Mr. Coe did not owe a duty of care to Mr. Kennedy, and that even if there were, Mr. Coe would have met the standard.  She summarized: “It is indeed very sad that Mr. Kennedy met a tragic and untimely death, but he did so while participating in a high-risk sport and responsibility for his death cannot be placed on Mr. Coe.

Kennedy v. Coe, 2014 BCSC 120 (CanLII)



Teresa Mitchell
Teresa Mitchell
Teresa Mitchell is the former Editor and Legal Writer for LawNow at the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

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