Old guy sues 7 year old for ski accident - Mountain Buzz

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Old 12-26-2007   #1
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
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Old guy sues 7 year old for ski accident

Ok, so I do a little blog on the Vail Daily's web site. I tried to write a blog entry about an article where a 7 year old bumped a 60 year old guy on a cat walk. Said old guy stumpled, and fell over when the little guy tried to pass him on the cat walk. The guy's attorney says he is a good skiier.

Anyways, the editor at the Daily didn't have the balls to run my blog. I thought I went pretty light, no four letter words, etc. Anyways, I need to publish it somewhere, so I'll start here since someone might actually read it.

P.S. The Daily's site isn't cooperating. When it is, I will post a link to the original article.

Pick On Someone your Own Size

Pennsylvania skier David Pfahler, is giving something back to our local community as a regular visitor (and second home owner?). What is he giving you ask? A large check to the Vail Valley Foundation? Adopting a needy local family for the holidays? Not quite. According to the Vail Daily, Pfahler is giving an 8 year old boy a lawsuit for Christmas for an unspecified amount to exceed $75,000. According to the Daily, the boy cannot legally be named in a law suit, however that didn’t stop young Swimm from being served his papers by the Sherriff’s department.

Here’s a rough synopsis of Pfahler’s side of the story. (Note to Mr. Pfahler and his jerk attorneys: this is a dramatization. This entire commentary only represents the opinions of the author, and the author does not claim any part of it as fact.)

I was skiing along in my usual badass fashion, shredding some powder on the sweetest cat-walk I could find. I was really having a blast. My beautiful form was creating a perfect set of tracks behind me. It was like I was on rails—a beautiful Mercedes snowplow on rails. My attorney Jim, even says I’m a very strong recreational skier. As I’m skiing gracefully along, I notice something out of the corner of my eye. A tattooed, 8 year old flicks away his cigarette, and glares me down with the piercing eyes of James Dean. “Watch this,” he says to his friends, no doubt fellow gang members as he strokes his switch-blade. Swimm sets his sights on me. You should have seen it; it was like a 48 pound beagle-sized John Lynch bearing down on an Oakland Raider. I was done for.

Good thing my lawyers were around or the flight-for-life chopper would have taken that loser with the brain hemorrhage down to Denver, instead of me. Probably didn’t even have health insurance, the bum.

Swimm’s dad tells a different, more believable story. His son, who weighs about as much as a beagle, tries to pass some old guy, who I imagine bears a passing resemblance to Mr. Burns from the Simpsons on a cat walk. The two skiers bump into each other. Mr. Pfahler, startled, flails around, and stumbles to the ground. He tries to grab young Swimm (I can see just him shaking his fist) and saying something to the effect of “I’ll sue you good, you little bastard!”

In reality, I wasn’t there. I don’t know the Swimms, or the Pfahler’s. I do know about the skier responsibility code. I’ve trained as a ski patroller, I teach skiing, and have had it drilled into my head. I’m sure it is very possible that Scott broke a rule of the code, by failing to yield to Mr. Pfahler. Be that as it may, I believe Pfahler was the real liability. He broke the number one rule of skiing: ski within your ability level. Mr. Pfahler, anyone who runs the risk of a beagle sized kid causing over $75,000 of damage on a slow-speed catwalk collision shouldn’t be skiing. It’s a disaster waiting to happen!

And anyone who even thinks they should sue an 8 year old for something like this probably won’t get a real warm welcome in our community. The community, I might add, that would likely make up your jury pool.

If it were up to me (it isn’t), I would tell the Swimms they should consider a counter-suit. Harrassment, assult on a child, child abuse, there has to be something there, and worth some kind of punitive damages. I don’t like jury duty, but I’d gladly sign up for that. Maybe an impromptu meeting with a greedy old man on the slopes will some day pay for Scott’s college. That’s the kind of justice I’d like to believe in.

Mr. Pfahler, maybe one day you could try to give something back to our community that has so graciously tolerated your presence, something other than your cowardly intimidation of a child while hiding behind your lawyers. Even the Grinch came around in the end; maybe Mr. Pfahler will get the message and decide not to steal Christmas after all. Until then, the only thing I have to say is this: “Pick on somebody your own size!”

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Old 12-26-2007   #2
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Vail Colorado-Todays information & news from Vail Daily - News
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Old 12-26-2007   #3
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I definitely agree
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Old 12-26-2007   #4
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I would say it's all in the guy's name. Mr. Pfahler = Mr. Faller!

Guilty you dumbass and Allentown sucks salty nuts. I would be pissed if I lived there as well. Can't everyone just get along?!

Don't sue me Mr. Faller for calling you Mr. Faller...Mr. Faller, or I'll sue you for being an idiot.
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Old 12-26-2007   #5
Chasing H2O, CO
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While he's at it might I suggest that Mr. Phaler have Mrs. Phaler sign up for water aerobics, and sue the kids playing in the deep end for traumatizing her by causing slight splashing motions. The splashing motions, which momentarily would paralize her as they resembled the motion of "jerking off", caused her to think of her now infamous husband. While distracted by these thoughts of said jerk off, she slipped while climbing the stairs out of the pool and tweaked her pinkie toe causing trauma and distress to warrant such charges.

WTF you ask? My thoughts as well.

Nice article WL. Too bad those editors in the VV are too much of the sensitive type and wouldn't want to cause a stir for fear of potential economic backlash.
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Old 12-27-2007   #6
Self-Aggrandizing jackass
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At the risk of exposing my actual stupidity...

What's a "cat walk" in relation to a ski resort. I don't think I've ever seen one (I've only been to Key, Copper, and Breck).
"self-aggrandizing jackass" - it says it right on the label
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Old 12-27-2007   #7
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Cat walks are normally service roads on the mountain in the summer. They are used to connect runs/peaks/different sections of the mountain. They are normally almost completely flat surface areas that traverse the terrain instead of being vertical and going down it.

Thats my best explanation.
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Old 12-27-2007   #8
Self-Aggrandizing jackass
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The Ranch, Colorado
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Okay, I've been on them, then. The kind of places that kill me as a crappy snowboarder, right?


Suing an 8-year old? WTF?
"self-aggrandizing jackass" - it says it right on the label
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Old 12-27-2007   #9
Fred Gnarquist
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this is going to seem like ranting but.....

Its those godamn aletist rich, old bastards who think they are better than everybody else that cause so many problems in the world. Someone needs to tell that ass hole to go back to wherever he is from and stay there.

on a lighter note, im glad that our communities have down to earth people in them to tell these assholes that shit like that isnt accpetable in co
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Old 12-27-2007   #10
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You are right. This guy is making skiers in general, Colorado, and Eagle County look stupid. The truth is, if this somehow ends up in an Eagle County court, me and all of my neighbors will be on the jury, and we won't let this jerk off lightly for what he is trying to do.

From today's Vail Daily via AP via Rocky Mountain News or something to that effect:

Couple that sued Eagle-Vail boy hears complaints

var storytitle = "Couple that sued Eagle-Vail boy hears complaints";
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
December 26, 2007

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People upset over a man who sued an 8-year-old boy and his father over a ski collision have subjected him and his wife to "an electronic tar and feathering," their lawyer said.

David Pfahler and Marlene Ambrogio left their Allentown, Pa., home for the holidays because angry people tied up their phone lines with repeated, automated calls since news reports of the lawsuit, attorney Jim Chalat said Monday.

Some sent angry e-mails and calls to Chalat's Denver law firm, while others called Reader's Digest, where Pfahler works, and demanded he be fired, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

The couple sued Scott Swimm of Vail and his father, Robb Swimm, in federal court in September. They said Scott, then 7, skied into Pfahler, 60, at Beaver Creek in January.

After the crash, Pfahler underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff and a procedure to repair part of his clavicle, according to the lawsuit.

Chalat said the Colorado Ski Safety Act holds children just as responsible for their actions as adults.

Robb Swim contends his son "tapped" Pfahler's ski boots and that it was not a violent crash.

Chalat said that after the crash, Pfahler asked the Swimm family to help pay his $35,000 of medical bills but never heard back. The lawsuit seeks compensation for physical therapy, vacation time, nursing and medical services provided by Pfahler's wife, and other expenses.

The Swimms did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday to respond to Chalat's comments.

Information from:
Rocky Mountain News, http://www.rockymountainnews.com/
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