ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The U.S. Forest Service is facing an $850,000 lawsuit after a sledding crash at the Capulín Snow Play area on the east side of the Sandias.
The plaintiff is Peter Clark who, according to court documents, says the Forest Service was negligent because the hills were too steep and there was no supervision.
Clark says he was hit by another sledder in January 2010 fracturing some vertebrae and injuring his ankle.
The Forest Service actually started talking about remodeling the Capulín Snow Play area back in 2004. It started construction in 2009 and wrapped up the project in December 2010 by resurfacing the parking lot, remodeling bathrooms, adding a warming house and redesigning the sledding hills.
It was in that month that a 12-year-old boy standing at the base of the snow hill was hit by sledders leaving him partially paralyzed.
After that, the Forest Service closed the area for weekdays and added three or four officers on Fridays and weekends to make sure people followed rules. Then budget cuts resulted in the area only being open on Saturdays from noon to 3:30 p.m.
Since those changes, the Forest Service says it has not received word of any mishaps or accidents.
News 13 has learned the family of the 12-year-old boy will also be suing the Forest Service. There was no word on dollar amounts sought in that case.
The Forest Service says the Capulín Snow Play area is scheduled to be open the first weekend of the Albuquerque Public Schools winter break. Details of hours and staffing are still being worked out.
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