CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Vail Resorts facing million dollar lawsuit after a Utah bowling alley incident

Nov 28, 2022, 7:30 PM

vail resorts...

Vail Resorts is facing over $2million in damages. FILE Photo: Mengshin Lin/Deseret News

PARK CITY, Utah — After a bowling incident during a company party, a jury is ordering Vail Resorts’ Mountain activities to pay over $2 million for a personal injury that caused extensive surgeries. 

In April, according to a case overview, Jupiter Bowl hosted a team party for Vail employees. During the party, Vail Resorts’ employees began bowling in an “increasingly unorthodox and careless manner” the case states.

Amy Herzog, manager and bartender of Jupiter Bowl was deployed to receive the consumer’s gutter balls as needed.

According to her testimony, Vail Resorts employees were kicking the bowling balls down the lane, bowling between their legs, bowling two at a time, and bowling while covering their eyes.

More specifically Vail employee, Joe Ellis, allegedly performed two 360-degree spins while bowling.

After his first 360, Herzog went to retrieve a gutter ball from lane 16 where she witnessed no one bowling at the time. 

Herzog did not know that Ellis was in lane 15, about to perform his second 360. The case report states the ball flew into lane 16 just as Herzog was reaching down to pick up the gutter ball.

Consequently, Ellis’ bowling ball “forcefully” crashed into the back of her hand, crushing her hand against the gutter ball.

Her co-workers called 9-1-1 and an ambulance arrived as she was experiencing excruciating pain. Herzog was immediately taken to Park City Hospital for emergency treatment.

X-rays revealed acute comminuted fractures in her dominant hand. Although she required immediate surgery, her hand was too swollen to receive it. Herzog was forced to wait nearly 2 weeks.

She received three surgeries over more than a years time.

At trial, her surgeon allegedly testified that this surgery was one of the most difficult she had ever performed. It took 4-5 hours instead of just two. 

The surgeries and incident limit Herzog’s overall hand use. Along with this, they have prohibited her from participating in hobbies she once practiced. 

Although Vail Resorts claimed Ellis was not an employee at the time of the party and that it wasn’t a company-sponsored event, the jury sided with Herzog. 

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Vail Resorts facing million dollar lawsuit after a Utah bowling alley incident