Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Man: Disability not liability Adaptive ski program faces suit for denying access

  1. #1

    Man: Disability not liability Adaptive ski program faces suit for denying access

    Martin Wallem breathes with a ventilator and can only move only his eyes and grind his teeth. He uses those limited movements to tell his son when it's bedtime and his wife when he wants to go deep-sea fishing, huntingand downhill skiing.
    In other words, Wallem, 39, of Epping, isn't giving in to his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - or Lou Gehrig's disease. Since his diagnosis eight years ago, Wallem has been on several outdoor adventures with the help of adaptive equipment and tireless caregivers.
    So when the Bretton Woods Adaptive ski program, a recreation program
    with specialized equipment for people with disabilities, told Wallem last year that he could no longer ski with them, he objected.
    And after the program declined to reconsider, saying it no longer accommodated people on ventilators, Wallem went to court.
    In pleadings filed last week, the Disabilities Rights Center of Concord asked the U.S. District Court to order the adaptive ski program and the owners of Bretton Woods to allow Wallem to immediately resume skiing there.
    Wallem has skied safely - in 2008 at Bretton Woods - using a Tandemski. Picture a reclined chair on skis guided from behind by a "pilot." Wallem is strapped into the chair, and the pilot stands behind him, in bindings attached to the skis. From there, the pilot can control the speed and direction down the mountain.
    Wallem's lawsuit accuses both Bretton Woods and Bretton Woods Adaptive of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by deciding to bar all people on life support systems from the program.
    The ADA, according to the complaint filed by James Fox of the Disabilities Rights Center, required Bretton Woods and the adaptive ski program to individually assess Wallem for safety concerns. Fox argued in the pleading that Bretton Woods and the adaptive program, instead, illegally excluded Wallem and all people on life support based on imagined or feared risks.
    "The evidence, including medical, is that Mr. Wallem is not a safety risk on the slopes," Fox wrote. In fact, Fox told the court, Wallem skied safely last year at Loon Mountain after Bretton Woods Adaptive refused him.
    Attorneys for Bretton Woods and the adaptive program, David McGrath and Mark Whitney respectively, received the case late last week. McGrath, of Sheehan, Phinney, Bass and Green in Manchester, could not be reached over the weekend.
    Whitney, of Morgan, Brown and Joy in Boston, said last night that safety concerns are only one reason the adaptive program told Wallem it could not accommodate him for a return visit last year. Most important, he said, is that Wallem is seeking a service that is beyond the adaptive program's mission and limited resources.
    Whitney said the program runs on a "shoestring" budget and relies on volunteers. With those limited resources, he said, Bretton Woods Adaptive can only provide lessons - not ongoing experiences - to people with mental or physical disabilities.
    "I don't think anybody involved in this can say what (Wallem) is going through is anything but tragic," Whitney said. "But the reality is that this organization has extremely limited resources, and they are devoted to providing lessons and instructions to helping people become more independent in their skiing or riding."
    Whitney added, "The main thing is (Wallem) is not seeking a lesson."

    Here is the rest...


    http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/p...NTPAGE/1250304
    Tough Times Don't Last...Tough People Do!

  2. #2
    Member Thusa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ventura, California
    Posts
    94
    Why sue a program that helped him in the past; knowing that if they fight it in court the costs would be so great their program may be shut down permanently?

    Why not find a new program that isn't as worried about being shut down for a possible fatal accident that could possibly occur if the vent failed on the mountain?

    He knows that risks he poses for the group, even with a consent form a tragedy is still a tragedy that will be on the group's hands forever.

    If he really wants to ski that badly he should dedicate his time to it, not fighting people who are scared to help.
    T-10 complete, May 8th 2005(Mother's Day)
    Cripple Pride!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Thusa View Post
    Why sue a program that helped him in the past; knowing that if they fight it in court the costs would be so great their program may be shut down permanently?
    Why would this guy care? He knows his ticket's just about up, he wants to ski and that's it. Damn everyone else. The other possibility is he's looking to make a money grab, perhaps his life insurance policy is looking a little slim.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MarkPals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    987
    I loved to ski. Truly a passion. Some buds took me sitskiing a few weeks before I went on the vent. I have no idea how he can ski with the vent. Hells bells, it has taken weeks just to get my brother released from the hospital on a vent. I dont know exactly what to say about this. Would I like to go skiing? In a heartbeat. Do I think it is feasible and safe...not exactly. Would I sue for reasonable accessibility? Yes. Is this reasonable? No.

    Why would this guy care? He knows his ticket's just about up, he wants to ski and that's it. Damn everyone else. The other possibility is he's looking to make a money grab, perhaps his life insurance policy is looking a little slim.
    Isdale...you have a way with words. NOT.
    Veni.Vidi,Velcro...I came, I saw, I stuck around.

    Vidi, Vici, et Veni, et Veni, et Veni...

  5. #5
    Just calling a spade a spade.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Thusa View Post
    Why sue a program that helped him in the past; knowing that if they fight it in court the costs would be so great their program may be shut down permanently?
    That did not make any sense to me either, he was already at Loon Mountain just go back there. These programs are already run on a shoestring budget. I live in NH, and there are many mountains that have the programs. I am not sure what ones if any take people on vents. Seems like he is ruining it for the rest of us by being selfish.
    Tough Times Don't Last...Tough People Do!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    5,558
    The adaptive ski program could prevent a lawsuit by accommodating the skier. If he's willing to waive liability, there is simply one stubborn person blocking his way.

    Insinuating he's doing this for personal gain is disgusting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    5,558
    ......

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    middle georgia
    Posts
    2,266
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Quad View Post
    The adaptive ski program could prevent a lawsuit by accommodating the skier. If he's willing to waive liability, there is simply one stubborn person blocking his way.

    Insinuating he's doing this for personal gain is disgusting.
    yes but how would like to be the 1 if his vent quit
    i think he is nuts

  10. #10
    Senior Member WheelieMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    1,454
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Quad View Post
    The adaptive ski program could prevent a lawsuit by accommodating the skier. If he's willing to waive liability, there is simply one stubborn person blocking his way.

    Insinuating he's doing this for personal gain is disgusting.

    VQ,
    As disgusting as this may be, there are people who would final for lesser suits just to make a buck, or worst yet, just for fame.
    Stupidity ain't illegal, but it sure is inconvenient.


    Help me support the 2010 Bike MS.

Similar Threads

  1. The Changing Faces of Disability
    By Katilea in forum Life
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-18-2009, 04:46 PM
  2. Adaptive Rowing Program in CT
    By Sim in forum Life
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-13-2005, 08:53 AM
  3. Group criticises disability suit
    By Max in forum Ability & Disability News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-16-2004, 02:22 PM
  4. Shuttle bus owner faces suit on ADA violations
    By antiquity in forum Ability & Disability News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-22-2003, 07:28 PM
  5. Suit seeks ADA access to PGA tournaments in Florida
    By antiquity in forum Ability & Disability News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-12-2003, 06:58 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •