Court upholds tossing tubing suit


PORTLAND (AP) – The state supreme court on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s decision to toss a lawsuit brought by a woman hurt while tubing at a ski area, ruling that the law that applies to ski areas covers tubing as well as other ways of getting down the hill.

Rhonda Maddocks, who was injured at New Hermon Mountain when her tube hit a bump and went airborne in 2003, contended the ski area operator was liable for her injuries.

But the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed that tubing is the same as skiing as written in Maine law, and that a person who skis “accepts, as a matter of law, the risks inherent in the sport.”

In Maine, ski areas are protected from liability for most accidents except those caused by negligent operation or maintenance.

Under the law, skiing is defined broadly to include the use of a ski area “for sliding downhill on snow or ice on skis or a toboggan, sled, tube, snowboard” or “for similar uses of the ski slopes and trails.”

AP-ES-05-02-06 1129EDT