A fitness instructor who is now confined to a wheelchair following a snowmobile accident at an Italian ski resort has won the right to millions of pounds in compensation.
Emma Moore, 41, was on a family holiday at the Alpine resort of Passo Tonale. She had taken a ‘skidoo sensation’ excursion organised by an Italian businessman, Adriano Tantera. The accident happened when Mrs Moore, who was a complete beginner at snowmobiling, was unable to work the brakes while travelling downhill at speed. She did not know what to do and lost control of the skidoo, which eventually overturned.
In the crash, Mrs Moore suffered a spinal injury which has left her paralysed from the chest down. Her friend, who was a passenger on the snowmobile, was flung out of the vehicle and knocked out on impact.
Mrs Moore brought a personal injury claim against Hotelplan Ltd., trading as Inghams Travel, with whom she had booked the holiday. She argued that she had not received sufficient instruction in driving the skidoo. In particular, she had not been shown how to use the engine cut-off button so did not know how to avoid an accident.
When the case came to court, the judge decided that although Mrs Moore had to accept some responsibility for the accident, Mr Tantera was 70 per cent to blame for what happened. He was acting as the agent of the holiday company, which was therefore responsible for Mr Tantera’s lack of skill and care.
Although the exact amount of the compensation award has not yet been determined, it is likely to be several million pounds because of the life-changing impact of Mrs Moore’s injuries.