Victims of the March 13

Man injured in Big Iron Shootout suing alleged organizers

A man who suffered serious injuries in last year’s Big Iron Shootout near Revelstoke is suing two local snowmobile organizations, the events alleged organizer and the high-marking snowmobilers that triggered the avalanche.

Joey Armand Mazzei of Vernon, B.C., is suing alleged organizer “Ozone” Dave Clark, the Snowmobile Revelstoke Society (SRS), Revelstoke Snowmobile Club (RSC), the estate of Shay Snortland and two John Does as the defendants.

The statement of claim, filed in Victoria on March 23 and obtained by the Times Review last week, says that David Clark, SRS and RSC were negligent in organizing an event that “they know, or ought to have known that the Plaintiff and others would be put at risk or put to a reasonably foreseeable harm.”

It also says they did not provide any warning regarding conditions at Boulder Mountain and to the risk to the plaintiff’s health and safety.

Shay Snortland and the two John Doe’s are listed as the high-marking snowmobilers that triggered the avalanche.

The massive snow slide on March 13, 2010, resulted in the death of Snortland and his friend Kurtis Reynolds and resulted in dozens of injuries.

The claim states that as a result of the avalanche, Mazzei incurred “pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life,” and loss of income – both past, present and future.

According to the claim, he suffered injuries to his ribs, pelvis, back and lungs and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He is suing to reclaim costs relating to his treatment and rehabilitation, lost wages, domestic and/or nursing services needed and other damages. There is no dollar figure attached to the claim.

Mazzei spent several weeks in Kelowna General Hospital on life support as a result of injuries sustained in the avalanche. His injuries included failing kidneys, a bleeding stomach, shattered ribs and broken shoulder blades.

His son, Joey Jr. sustained head trauma, a cut on the head, cracked ribs and a damaged lung. Mazzei was credited with saving his son from further injury.

“He’s heroic. He saved my son. I’ll spend the rest of my life repaying him,” said his wife Sharlotte Skowronek of her husband at the time.

SRS and RSC have repeatedly denied any connection to the Big Iron Shootout. None of the defendants returned calls for comment.

Mazzei’s lawyer, Donald McKay of the firm Macisaac and Company would not comment on the case, saying he would let the suit play out in court.

Nothing in the claim has been proven in court. The defendants have 20 days as of the date of filing to make a response.

With files from the Vernon Morning Star.

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