Suit: Snowboard park worker’s arm amputated after ski lift accident

SHARE Suit: Snowboard park worker’s arm amputated after ski lift accident
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A former northwest suburban snowboard park worker who had to have his arm amputated after a ski lift accident last year has filed a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the machinery.

Patrick O’Donnell was a 17-year-old employee of Raging Buffalo Snowboard and Ski Park in Algonquin at the time of the accident on March 2, 2014, according to the suit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.

About 1:45 that afternoon, his right arm became entangled in a conveyor belt system that carries snowboarders to the top of a beginner’s hill at the park on Route 31, Algonquin fire officials said at the time.

It took emergency crews about an hour to free his arm, and he was airlifted in critical condition to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, authorities said.

O’Donnell had to have his arm amputated as a result of the accident, the suit says. It claims the conveyor belt system made by Magic Carpet Lifts Inc. was “unreasonably dangerous” and should have had an emergency stop mechanism that was more easily accessible.

David Kelly, president of the Denver-based manufacturer, said he had not yet been served the suit Thursday evening.

“We feel awful for the boy hurt, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” Kelly said.

Also named as defendants in the suit were The Hoffman-Panduit Partnership, which produced the machinery’s control panel, and IDEC Corporation, which designed an automation system. Representatives for those companies could not immediately be reached for comment.

The three-count suit seeks at least $150,000 in damages.

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