Whitefish Mountain Resort Responds To Lawsuit - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Whitefish Mountain Resort Responds To Lawsuit

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WHITEFISH -

Whitefish Mountain Resort is calling a wrongful death lawsuit against them "groundless."

The family of a 16-year-old foreign exchange student filed the paperwork in Missoula on Christmas eve to sue the slopes where he died more than three years ago.

They say their son's host family and Whitefish Mountain Resort could have done something to prevent the teenager's fatal fall into a tree well.

In a statement released today, the Resort says it is "unreasonable" to mark off a single tree of thousands that could create a dangerous tree well.

Below is the statement in its entirety.

"For the entire Whitefish Mountain Resort community, Niclas Waschle's injury and death was an emotional and tragic event. For those of us personally involved, it was heart breaking and unforgettable. The tragedy is unnecessarily compounded by the effort through this lawsuit, filed nearly three years after the events, to blame innocent parties, including Whitefish Mountain Resort, for the results of the known risks inherent in the sport of skiing. Tree well and deep snow immersion accidents such as this one occur in off-groomed, forested (off-piste) areas with deep, unconsolidated snow. It is not reasonable to identify a particular tree among the tens of thousands within the resort boundary that has a dangerous tree well by sight. The lawsuit is groundless. We are unfortunately forced to defend it vigorously and seek justice through our Court system. This we will do."

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