Utah's Supreme Court has ruled that while skiers may assume some risk of injury when they head down a mountain, not all risks are inherent.
The ruling has cleared the way for a lawsuit against the Snowbird ski resort.
In 2003, William Rothstein suffered severe internal injuries when he hit a wall while skiing. He sued, claiming the resort was negligent.
A lower court ruled that Snowbird was protected from a lawsuit because of two waivers Rothstein signed when he obtained a season pass. But the high court overturned the decision, saying the releases ran contrary to state law and did not shield the resort from all liability.
In court papers, the resort maintained Rothstein had skied into an area that had been marked off limits by a rope. Rothstein mistook a gap in the rope for an entrance to an open trail. He then crashed into a wall made of railroad ties that had been obscured by snow.