Related to this, of course.
Judge finds Vail may be found liable in avalanche death
The Denver Post
A judge has found that The Vail Corp. possibly violated state laws when it failed to close both entrances to a ski run where a 13-year-old skier was killed by an avalanche in 2012.
Taft Conlin's parents filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Vail, claiming that the resort violated the Colorado Ski Safety Act when it closed the top parts of the Prima Cornice run, but not the gate to the lower entrance.
In an order issued Tuesday, Broomfield County District Court Judge Chris Melonakis found that Vail may be found liable in Conlin's death. He said Vail failed to prove it is protected under the Colorado ski-safety act, which spells out responsibilities for skiers and snowboarders and grants immunity to ski operators from "inherent dangers" of the sport.
The case is being handled in Broomfield County, where Vail's headquarters are located.
In February, the Colorado Court of Appeals found that avalanches within the boundaries of open runs at Colorado ski resorts are an inherent danger. Following that ruling, the judge overseeing the Vail case asked both parties to file a brief describing whether the court of appeals decision meant the Vail case should be dismissed.
Melonakis denied Vail's response, which claimed the operators who did not close the lower entrance to the ski run are protected by the ski safety act. The case will now continue on to a jury trial.
In their lawsuit, Conlin's parents claim the law requires ski operators to close all entrances to a closed run.
Vail agrees that the lower entrance was not marked closed, but when Conlin sidestepped up into an area between the two entrances he, "knew or reasonably should have known that the slope uphill from the gate was closed."
Jordan Steffen: 303-954-1794, email@example.com or twitter.com/jsteffendp