Vail will have to produce avalanche safety documents for trial
By Bob Berwyn
* some discusssion of this story on the Telemark Tips forum.
FRISCO — Vail Resorts failed last week to convince a judge that avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing on the company’s flagship mountain. Broomfield District Court Judge Patrick Murphy declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of Taft Conlin, who was killed by a snowslide on Prima Cornice in January 2012.
The company’s argument that avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing inbounds at ski areas may surprise a great many skiers, most of whom probably assume that they won’t be exposed to avalanche danger when they’re riding resort lifts and skiing on marked trails. Read Vail’s motion to dismiss here.
Advocating on behalf of Conlin’s family and for all skiers, attorney Jim Heckbert urged the court to reject Vail Resorts’ claims.
“If one is to accept the Defendant’s arguments, a ski area operator is permitted to negligently or knowingly expose skiers to the danger of death by avalanches with impunity. Because the risk of avalanche on January 22. 2012, could have been eliminated through the use of reasonable safety measures, the risk was not an inherent danger of skiing,” Heckbert wrote in the response to the the Vail Resorts motion to dismiss. Read the entire response here. Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, Colorado, recreation, ski industry, skiing and riding, Vail Resorts | Tagged: avalanches, Colorado Ski Safety Act, Taft Conlin avalanche death, Vail Colorado, Vail Resorts | 5 Comments »