If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering “what is an Atlas Chalet lawsuit and how does it work?” The following paragraphs may help shed some light on your questions. We’ve all heard the stories about Chalet owners being negligent and how they go completely out of their way to avoid accidents. In one case, a skiing lover sued his own resort, saying that he had fallen and broke his leg while skiing and the resort did not let him use the hospital room. This story has made the news and put the Atlas Chalet under scrutiny in the ski and snowboard community, but what exactly can they do?
In 2021, a man died in his own home while using the Atlas Chalet as he was attempting to warm up on the frozen lake that was located just outside his front door. He had been warned by other family members not to use the area around the lake. The reason? Atlas didn’t have any security at all and no one had been there for several days. Was this negligence on the part of the resort owner? Did he show carelessness that cost this family their loved one?
The case was brought by his wife, who stated that her husband had fallen and injured his head on the icy floor of their bedroom while he was trying to make some tea. His skull had hit the ground and he suffered from brain injuries which caused him to die a short time later. He wasn’t wearing any type of safety equipment or was he pushed or shaken in such a manner that he would have been injured or killed had he stayed at his home. His wife claimed in court that because she could find no evidence of negligence on the part of the Atlas Chalet, they should be awarded damages. This is not an Atlas Chalet lawsuit and yet this is exactly what is happening all over the country. The unfortunate thing about this is that because there is no physical evidence, there is no way to prove that this happened and the couple’s insurance carrier will not be liable for the man’s death.
If one were to read between the lines, one could speculate that it was because the homeowner did not follow basic safety protocol for a skiing or holiday home vacation. It is possible that he was out with a few other friends and fell and broke his leg. Had he been at home, he most likely would have put on some type of safety shoe or boot and clamped down tight against the snow to secure himself. The problem comes in when the home owner’s insurance carrier does not act responsibly and the lawsuit is filed.
In one of my past articles, I discussed the dangers of a claim that is weak on facts or evidence. In this case, the plaintiff’s lawsuit was weak due to his lack of evidence and professional knowledge. His claim was also likely headed for an expensive settlement at the onset. I advised clients to seek legal counsel with experience in filing such lawsuits to protect themselves. While many people assume that they can represent themselves in such lawsuits without hiring an attorney, the chances of a favorable outcome are not as bright if the lawsuit is weak on factual evidence or testimony.
The owner of the Atlas Chalet in question should have been better prepared to handle the lawsuit himself and avoid the unnecessary expense. The lawsuit should have been filed in the court that handled his home insurance policy. Had this happened, the owner may have been forced to pay for the lawsuit out of pocket, which would have further jeopardized his already poor financial situation. In my opinion, those who own vacation homes and other properties that they let go in such lawsuits are the ones who cause the most harm to the owners of the property they occupy.