VAIL RESORTS SEEKS DISMISSAL OF AVALANCHE LAWSUIT
SAM Magazine—Broomfield, Colo., Sept. 24, 2012—Vail Resorts (VR) is seeking dismissal of a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from an inbounds avalanche at Vail Mountain last winter, claiming that the avalanche is one of the inherent risks covered by the Colorado Ski Safety Act.
The suit was brought by the parents of Taft Conlin, who died in an avalanche at Prima Cornice. The run was closed from the top, but a lower gate to the run was allegedly open. Conlin and two friends entered through the lower gate and climbed up the slope a short way when the avalanche occurred. The other two friends escaped the avalanche but Conlin was caught in it and died as a result.
The Conlins claim that Vail negligently created an “avalanche trap.” VR termed the incident “tragic,” but argues that it followed the terms of the Colorado Ski Safety Act and is not liable for the accident.