The Quebec Court of Appeal has upheld a $4.1 million judgment against Mont Saint-Sauveur International Inc., owners and operators of Mont Olympia, for permanent brain damage a boy suffered while enrolled in a ski lesson.

The accident happened in January 2003 when Mathew Armutlu, then 9, was sent down a novice slope alone by his instructor, lost control, skied off the trail into the woods, and smashed into rocks.

The force of the impact cracked his helmet and caused permanent brain damage.

Judge Nicholas Kasirer ruled, "The ski school breached its obligation to provide safe supervision."

The original ruling came on Jan. 31, 2008.

Christian Dufour, customer services director for Mont Saint-Sauveur, told the Montreal Gazette Mont Saint-Sauveur has been improving safety practices since the accident happened in 2003.

"We have made efforts year after year to reduce accidents, and the way we run our ski schools has changed," Dufour said.

Mont Saint-Sauveur, has 60 days to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

North American resorts have watched this case with keen interest as insurance costs are a significant factor in budgets.

Meanwhile a bill sits on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk that would require helmets on skiers and riders who are under 18.

The governor has until Sept. 30 to decide whether to sign.