$11.4 Million Jury Prize Prompts Oregon Resort to Change Bike Policy

Mt. Hood Skibowl in Oregon will keep cyclists off its forest trails this summer after losing a lawsuit filed by a man who said he slammed into a sign and was paralyzed from the waist down.

A Multnomah County jury awarded Gabriel B. Owens $11.4 million this spring after the cyclist’s attorneys said he hit a rut and collided with a wooden sign posted next to the Cannonball Double Black Diamond Bike Trail on July 31, 2016, The Oreogonian/OregonLive reported.

Owens, 43, settled the case for $10.5 million after ski resort attorneys threatened to appeal the jury’s verdict, which could have tied up the money for years, according to the Owens’ lawyer, Gretchen Mandekor.

The ski resort should have installed collapsible markers at the crossroads of the trail, Mandekor said during the test, comparing the condition of the trail to “a speed bump on a highway” that caused the rider to lose control of his bike. former professional cyclist.

In an undated statement on its website, Mt. Hood Skibowl called the verdict “unprecedented” and said it will temporarily suspend mountain biking operations this summer.

“After 32 years without serious mountain biking claims of any kind, the winds have changed,” the company said. “Eliminating all risk with recreational activities, especially in downhill mountain biking through forests at high speeds, is something that is simply not possible.”

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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