Monday, March 4, 2013
Zoricic family questions Swiss fatal crash probe
TORONTO -- Lawyers for the family of Canadian skier Nik Zoricic are considering legal action after investigators in Switzerland concluded his death last year in a World Cup skicross race was an accident.
Toronto legal firm Danson Recht said Monday that Swiss authorities reached "unacceptable and insulting" conclusions following a police investigation into the March 2012 fatality.
At a news conference Wednesday in Toronto, Zoricic's family is set to claim that the International Ski Federation (FIS) and Canadian team haven't agreed to further investigations.
"This puts all legal options back on the table," the legal firm said in a statement. "The Zoricic family asked for an independent and transparent investigation. In exchange, all legal options would be taken off the table -- no payment of money, no lawsuits, no litigation, no liability -- just the truth."
Zoricic sustained fatal head injuries on landing wide right off a final jump near the finish line at Grindelwald. He was 29. After landing in safety nets, Zoricic was pushed back across a bank of snow.
Canadian broadcaster CBC has reported the Swiss investigation as describing Zoricic's death as "a tragic case of sporting accident." Translated copies of the original German-language report will be circulated on Wednesday, the Danson Recht statement said.
"The Zoricic family will have much to say about their disappointment over the Swiss police report," the legal firm said. "Finally, the family will discuss an initiative to involve the government of Canada and Sports Canada to deal with pressing issues of safety in sport."
Police in the canton (state) of Bern declined to comment during its investigation, and the canton prosecutor's office has not formally published the report.
Zoricic's death was described last year by skiing's world governing body as a "terrible, tragic accident," and by the Canadian team as a "freak accident."
FIS stepped up safety measures in skicross this season and gave more detailed guidelines to certified course designers.
On Sunday, the anniversary of Zoricic's death, the skicross world championships races are scheduled to be held at Voss, Norway.