October 16, 2013

Man injured in 2010 chairlift collapse sues Sugarloaf

Michael Katz seeks unspecified damages, claiming that the Maine resort’s out-of-state parent overlooked safety hazards.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

The Skyline lift at Sugarloaf is shown during the winter of 2011. It replaced the Spillway East lift that derailed Dec. 28, 2010.

2011 File Photo by Michael G. Seamans/Kennebec Journal

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“The idea that this is a mom-and-pop, Maine-run business is just not the case. We think there were warning signs at the Spillway chairlift dating back a number of years,” Gideon said. “Five chairs fell completely to the ground. Of the 10 people who fell, eight were injured. There were over 300 people on the lift. You’re talking about as many people as are on a 737 airline.”

In addition to Sugarloaf Mountain, Katz’s suit names as defendants CNL Lifestyles Properties, a Maryland company operating out of Florida that owns the resort; two Delaware-based asset companies; and Boyne USA, one of the nation’s largest ski resort operators, which leases Sugarloaf and manages the business.

“Those who had the ability to do this and spend the money to prevent this from occurring were the out-of-state investors who were pulling the purse strings at Sugarloaf,” Gideon said.

Sugarloaf removed the 35-year-old Spillway East chairlift months after the accident and replaced it with the modern Skyline Quad in December 2011. As Maine’s tallest winter resort, Sugarloaf is the nation’s largest ski area east of the Rockies. Its 15 lifts can transport 21,810 skiers per hour, according to the resort’s website.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan

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