Negligent skiing, duty of care
Supreme Court judgment 12 March 2019, HR-2019-497-A, (case no. 18-176486STR-HRET), criminal case, appeal against judgment
A (Counsel Svein Kjetil Stallemo) v. The Public Prosecution authority (Counsel Anders Mandal Funnemark), B (Counsel Tom Sørum)
Justices: Indreberg, Normann, Falch, Berglund, Lindsetmo
The penalty for violation of section 280 of the Penal Code was suspended imprisonment for 18 days. The defendant, who was seventeen and a half years old, had collided with a girl in a ski slope. The accident occurred because the defendant came at a very high speed over a drop-off and was thus unable to avoid the girl who was standing right below. The Supreme Court found that the standard of care in a ski slope entails that the skier must move in control and adjust to the conditions to avoid endangering others. Not any careless movement or skiing at high speed is negligent, but in this case the defendant had clearly deviated from the standard of care. Age or other personal circumstances could not prevent that he was to blame for the accident. The Supreme Court also agreed with the Court of Appeal's majority that gross negligence had been demonstrated within the meaning of section 3-5 of the Compensatory Damages Act, so that the conditions for awarding damages for non-economic loss were met. The judgment gives general guidance on the duty of care when skiing, within the meaning of both criminal law and tort law.