Grumpy Old Man on the Ski Slopes … David J. Pfahler Sues 8 Year Old Scott Swimm and his Father for Ski Slope Collision


Who in the world sues a child?” she said. “It just boggles my mind every day.” Pfahler’s Denver attorney, Jim Chalat, declined to comment on the specifics of the case. “It’s a private matter between private parties,” he said

Think we don’t live in an overly litigious society? Just yet another reason why we loath defense attorneys that take such cases and waste every bodies time. This law suit may just take the cake. Maybe if we start making those who file these frivolous law suits responsible for the legal fees, that may just put an end to this nonsense.

60 year old David J. Pfahler of Allentown, PA is suing an 8 year old child and his father claiming the third-grader caused a ski-slope collision that left the older man with a shoulder injury.  His mother claims that 8 year old Scott Swimm weighs 48 pounds and couldn’t have been going more than 10 mph.

I think Mr. Pfahler may have been watching the above video one too many times.

David J. Pfahler of Allentown, Pa., filed suit in Denver federal court claiming Scott Swimm, of Vail, then 7, was skiing fast and recklessly when they ran into each other in January. Pfahler’s suit says he suffered a torn shoulder tendon.

The boy told Pfahler he was sorry and started to ski away when the man grabbed Scott’s legs, cursed at him and said he would sue, Robb Swimm told The Aspen Times.

“I was really scared,” Scott said to the Times.

Scott’s father, Robb Swimm, said he saw the crash and that Scott was skiing slowly and in control.

“It wasn’t a violent collision or anything, Scott just kind of tapped his ski boots,” he said this week.

Check out the expenses that David Pfahler is looking to recoup in his law suit. $75K worth of expenses, what a joke.

The suit seeks compensation for physical therapy, vacation time, nursing and medical services provided by Pfahler’s wife and other expenses. It estimates the couple’s losses at more than $75,000.

Posted December 21, 2007 by
Bizarre, Child Welfare, WTF | 20 comments

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  • Comments

    20 Responses to “Grumpy Old Man on the Ski Slopes … David J. Pfahler Sues 8 Year Old Scott Swimm and his Father for Ski Slope Collision”

    1. Just Bearly on December 22nd, 2007 1:17 am

      The law suit is a crock….

      The video is pretty cool. Made me think what an amazing athlete Bode Miller is that he can often recover, or sometimes even finishes races on one foot, one ski in similar predicaments.

    2. Kitty on December 22nd, 2007 9:34 am

      This sounds to me like a person who’s out of control (on ski’s too) and very angry…

      Come ski in NH/VT. and dodge the snowboarders for some fun!…and believe you me, it’s quite an adreneline rush…kids…novices…ice…hey, it’s what skiing offers on any mountain ~ unless you’re on the bunny slope! …then again…

      This stuff happens all the time!!! Even the most inexperienced to the very experienced (proffessional) skiers fall and break shoulders and other things ~ it’s unfortunate, accidents happen ~ that’s the risk you take when you snap on your skis and go down any run…but to sue over it… now, that is really over the top!

      That’s the risk you take when you go skiing ~
      (the Ski Mtn.s put disclaimers on the back of your lift tickets for a reason.. not wanting any liabiilty ~
      (hey, there’s a business opportunity for ski outfitters…insurance for skiers ~ like when you go on a plane and are offered insurance if something happens)…mmm, there’s a thought…

      Bunny slopes for him… oh, forget that!.. there’s kids there too! Woooaaahhh~ LOOK OUT!!!

    3. skibunny on December 25th, 2007 9:44 pm

      I can sympathize with Mr.Pfahler–last year I was taken out by a young snowboarder my first day on the slopes.The kid and his dad didn’t even stop!I ended up with a concussion and a rotator cuff injury that kept me from being able to move my arm for months.The person who collides with you doesn’t have to be built like a tree to cause injury.
      No,I didn’t sue. But I was peeved enough to want to! I feel that parents need to teach their kids “sports etiquette” and I’m sure this law suit will make this brat think twice before he goes hotdogging down the slopes again.

    4. Malibu, California on December 25th, 2007 10:49 pm

      There should be a class action lawsuit filed by all skiers in America against this guy. This is the clown that has no concept of the mountain and what is happening around him. He then stops short and impedes the progress of people around him, and I am the one who kicks up snow in his grumpy old face and he gets mad. We need to sue this guy and get him permanently removed from all mountains.

    5. Kevin on December 26th, 2007 8:31 am

      He should pick on someone his own size. This child will grow up not trusting anyone. Not to mention the guilt he’ll feel. Lawyers are some of the most evil people on this earth. Most would destroy a live for the gain of money. I’ve had first hand experience. The fight was long and I won.

    6. Frank Cavanaugh on December 27th, 2007 1:41 pm

      I am pretty sure that the 8 yr old from Vail is a much better skier than a 60 yr old weekend warrior from PA. I’m a 44 yr old skier and a snowboarder and have been my whole life. My son is a pretty good skier and is 11. The biggest hazards on the slopes are people who think they’re better than they are and are not cognizant of where they are on the slope. These people are usually the 60 yr olds with creaky knees and shoulders who haven’t skied in years. Bottom line: accidents happen, get over it. Further, since when does a rotator cuff injury keep someone away from work for this long? I smell a rat!

    7. HuskerzFan0827 on December 28th, 2007 1:17 am

      This moron (Pfahler) needs to be permanently banned from Vail Resorts and any other ski area. I speak as a former member of the Ski Patrol and when we see out of control skiers or those who do not appear to know what they are doing, we can legally remove them from the mountain and revoke their pass, granted accidents do happen, but I highly doubt an 8 year old boy with his father was skiing out of control or at a high rate of speed. I have never in my 30 years of skiing heard of anything more ridiculous than this 60 year old suing an innocent 8 year old boy! When you buy a pass to ski or snowboard you assume all risk and hold no liability to the ski resort or other persons on the slopes. I also want to know what kind of lawyer would take this case? Only the scum of the earth if you ask me!!! I hope the courts rule in favor of Scott Swimm.

    8. Samson Isberg on December 29th, 2007 11:33 am

      This is really nothing but extortion. Even if the boy wins the lawsuit, he will use more than 75 K in lawyer expenses; and his chance of getting that money back from Pfahler is zero. So this will end up with a settlement, Pfahler wil get his payday and one more kid is screwed up for life. Way to go, lawyers of America! Until you see to it that this extortionist gets disbarred, you are all scum like him.

      And yes, I would like to see the rotator cuff tear documented…

    9. Fembot on January 2nd, 2008 2:00 pm

      Pfahler, David J

      {{edit – no posting of peoples personal addresses and phone numbers}}

    10. Gary on January 2nd, 2008 5:45 pm

      Un-asked question: As an insurance broker we often set up subrogation against another party. However, we NEVER ask the client to collect the money that we have paid out on their behalf. I read that his insurance carrier suggested he ask for compensation from the boys family by directly requesting for it. IT DOSENT WORK THAT WAY. If his insurance paid the bills then the carrier would go after the boy. RED FLAG RED FLAG RED FLAG that he isnt telling the whole truth.

    11. J Sloan on January 2nd, 2008 8:17 pm

      I applaud the actions of Mr. Pfahler.Too many children run wild because of the laziness and irresponsibility of their parents.

    12. Chris Gilbert on January 3rd, 2008 12:08 am

      Hasn’t anyone seen the article where Pfahler was advised by HIS HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDER to seek compensation from the Swimm’s family? His greedy insurance company wants to subrogate and get their money back!!!

    13. Chris Gilbert on January 3rd, 2008 12:10 am

      WRONG, Gary – insurers routinely send notice of subrogation to the insured to stake their claim, NOT to the tortfeasor.

    14. Bob on January 4th, 2008 4:29 pm

      Nobody is suing an 8-year-old, his family’s insurance company is being sued. The family is mad because their insurance rates will go up due to their inability to keep their kid from going out of control on a ski hill (individual skiers are sued all the time, by the way; everybody is liable for their own actions).
      Now the family is lying about the case and asking people to harass Pfaeler so that he will give up. Classy.

    15. Bob Conti on January 6th, 2008 8:25 pm

      So let me get this straight. Somebody’s negligent, causes another damages, and there’s no responsibility for the damages because of the tortfeasor’s age? I started skiing at the age of 6 at Sugarloaf in Maine, land of ice and more ice, and managed not to dislocate anybody’s shoulder. Change the scenario… the kid’s learning how to drive and rear ends somebody? That doesn’t mean he or his parents (and, as noted in an earlier post, we’re really talking about their insurance carrier) should be held liable? Of course not. I ask what kind of message the kid’s parents are sending by not accepting responsibility for the damages their son’s negligence created? Two last things: The court will determine whether the kid was negligent. It may find that the kid isn’t, or that there’s comparative fault on both parties, reducing or negating any award. Second, the initial posting said this is why we hate defense lawyers. It’s a plaintiff’s attorney who filed the action.

    16. Robert on February 8th, 2008 9:32 pm

      WRONG, Chris – insurers routinely subrogate against the tortfeasor and or their insurance company. They notify the insured of their right to subrogation should the insured receive compensation from the tortfeasor for medical expenses paid by the insurer.

    17. billy ryder on March 3rd, 2008 10:25 am

      this child ( ins co ) can be held negligent for this injury– if I was jogging around the block and this child ran into me with his bike — would I be able to sue them — yes

      you have to do the sport with some concern over your fellow skier– you do not assume the risk of negligent behavior

    18. RotatorCuffTendonosis on July 18th, 2008 5:55 pm

      What i do understand from the story is that, we should be responsible with whatever we are doing. If our kids make any wrongdoing, we should be responsible too.

      As for the old man, does he know the risk of skiing at the age of 60?

    19. rk403 on October 12th, 2012 8:38 am

      It seems that Karma is indeed a b**ch. This POS died at the age of 65. Hope the money was worth it.

    20. A Comment on October 25th, 2012 1:24 pm

      So glad to hear this douchebag was dead 5 years later at age 65.

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