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First Excalibur lawsuit filed

Family claiming psychological, soft tissue injuries



The first of what is expected to be a series of lawsuits stemming from last December's Excalibur gondola tower failure has been filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

The father of four children who were trapped in a gondola cabin claims he suffered psychological injuries.

Tower 4 on the Excalibur lift sheared off on Dec. 16 last year, injuring a dozen people and trapping more than 50 skiers for several hours. The incident happened about 2:45 p.m.

David Hargrave and his wife Mandy rushed to the scene of the accident at the base of Blackcomb after receiving a phone call from one of his children explaining that they were trapped in a gondola cabin that had crashed onto a bus shelter when the tower collapsed.

The lawsuit claims the accident occurred as a result of negligence on the part of Blackcomb Mountain, Intrawest Mountain Resorts and lift manufacturer Doppelmayr CTEC Ltd.

Mandy Hargrave, the four children and a family friend who was trapped in the gondola have also filed lawsuits. The suits claim the children suffered soft-tissue and psychological injuries, while the parents suffered psychological trauma.

The family is represented by Whistler lawyer Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

An investigation into the accident determined that water had seeped into the two-piece tower and froze. The expanding ice caused the top section of the tower to sheer off at the point where it was joined to the lower section. The process is known as "ice-jacking."