Local Politics

Idaho House backs new legal shield for ski areas

BOISE, Idaho - House members voted 61-8 to give ski areas renewed protections from lawsuits that arise when their customers are hurt in terrain parks.

Tuesday's vote moves the measure to the Senate.

The Idaho Ski Areas Association fears liability arising from skiers and snowboarders using, among other things, man-made rails, jumps and hits on their mountains that have become popular in recent years.

Rep. Luke Malek of Coeur d'Alene, the bill's Republican sponsor, said those using ski areas -- and riding terrain-park features -- need to accept the inherent risk that accompanies their activities.

Foes of the measure including Republican Rep. Lynn Luker and Democratic Rep. Grant Burgoyne, both Boise lawyers, argued the bill simply went too far in shielding ski areas from responsibility should their negligence result in injury or death.