Quicksilver settlement reached Intrawest has assumed responsibility for liability payments resulting from the 1995 Quicksilver accident that aren’t covered by the lift manufacturer’s insurers. Under terms of a recent settlement Lift Engineering and Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of Nevada, makers of the Quicksilver chair, have contributed the full amount of the liability insurance available to the company to settle claims. However, as Lift Engineering’s insurance coverage is insufficient to meet its full financial obligations arising out of the accident, Intrawest will cover the balance. On Dec. 23 1995, with skiers downloading on the Quicksilver chair from midstation to Whistler Creek, one of the chairs on the lift came loose just uphill from Coaches Corner. The chair slid down and crashed into another chair before falling 70 feet to the ground. The impact of the first chair caused three further chairs to crash into each other before the second, third and fourth chairs fell to the ground. Two people died as a result of the accident and one person was left paralysed. A great deal of attention was focused on the investigation of the cause of the accident. Apart from the B.C. Coroner’s investigation and recommendations Whistler Mountain has conducted a detailed inquest into the accident. This study concluded that the lift failure resulted from an inherent and unknown design defect in the Yan 11 grip manufactured by Lift Engineering. Soon after legal proceeding were begun by Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation against Lift Engineering regarding the lift failure. Lift Engineering then filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. They disclosed that the liability insurance coverage possessed by Lift Engineering was inadequate to respond to the incident. "I’ll only be speculating," says David Perry, vice president of marketing and sales at Whistler Blackcomb. "I think they realised quite quickly after the accident that their insurance coverage would be inadequate and that, as well as other issues, led them to file for Chapter 11." "The terms of settlement are confidential," says Perry. "I can’t give you a number." The repercussions of the Quicksilver accident and the results of the investigation into the accident have been felt throughout the ski industry in North America. At Whistler Mountain, the Quicksilver lift never operated for public use again and was replaced in the summer of 1996 by a high-speed gondola. Last year, following Intrawest’s purchase of Whistler Mountain, the Redline and Green Chair Express — which were also detachable chairlifts built by Lift Engineering, although of a slightly different design — were replaced with Doppelmayr detachable lifts. In California?? Lift Engineering’s detachable lifts were


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