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SAM Magazine--Vail, Colo., Dec. 17, 2003--A woman and her deceased husband's family won a $17.5 million award yesterday stemming from carbon monoxide poisoning at Vail Resorts' Snake River Lodge and Spa in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 2001. The award, the largest personal injury award ever in Wyoming, included compensatory but no punitive damages. Plaintiffs had asked for more than $60 million, plus punitive damages.

Large as the settlement is, it could have been worse for VR. The resort was found 47.5 percent liable and shared responsibility for the award with two contractors. In addition, Vail's insurance covers the actual damages but would not have covered punitive damages.

The incident was caused by a leaky boiler, which allowed carbon monoxide to escape and seep into the guest room above.