Friday, February 12, 2010

Lawsuit filed against Sun Valley Co.

Plaintiffs allege negligence in snowboarder collision

Express Staff Writer

A Pennsylvania couple has filed a lawsuit against Sun Valley Co., alleging that the wife was injured last winter at the top of the River Run ski lift on Bald Mountain when struck by a careless and airborne snowboarder.

Diane and Thomas Carugati, of Newtown, Pa., filed their lawsuit on Jan. 28 in Blaine County 5th District Court. Both are seeking damages in excess of $10,000, Diane Carugati for injuries received in the accident and Thomas Carugati for "loss of consortium, companionship and society."

Also named as a defendant is a man identified as Michael Von Bon, who the Carugatis claim was the snowboarder who caused the accident and who they allege was a Sun Valley Co. employee "acting in the course and scope of said employment" at the time of the collision.

The Idaho Mountain Express was unable to verify if Von Bon worked or works for Sun Valley Co. A telephone call Wednesday to company spokesman Jack Sibbach was not returned by press deadline Thursday.

The Carugatis state in their lawsuit that they were on vacation in the Sun Valley area when the accident occurred on March 9, 2009. The lawsuit states that about 3:30 p.m., Diane Carugati rode with her son to the top of the River Run lift, where she "skied off the lift and to the top of the beginner run and then stopped to wait for her son who was strapping on his snowboard."

The Carugatis allege that while Diane Carugati was waiting for her son, Von Bon, riding a snowboard, "approached the exit area for the River Run lift at a high rate of speed, launched into the air and collided" with her.

The lawsuit doesn't specify the injuries she allegedly received, but describes them as "serious injuries and related damages, some or all of which are permanent in nature." The lawsuit further alleges that Diane Carugati "has been caused and will be caused to endure great physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering."

In addition to a claim for medical expenses, the Carugatis allege that Diane Carugati has a "temporary and/or permanent inability to pursue her usual occupation."

The Carugatis claim that Von Bon and Sun Valley Co. were "careless and negligent and breached duties of care owing to the plaintiffs."

The Carugatis filed the lawsuit as "pro se" litigants; however, there is an indication that they had assistance from an attorney. According to court records, the Carugatis' $88 filing fee was paid by Stark & Stark, an Eastern U.S. law firm with offices in New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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