Steamboat lawyer makes arguments in Colorado Supreme Court avalanche case
Denver — The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments in a wrongful-death case that could shake the foundation of the law that shields ski areas from liability for on-slope injuries and deaths.
Lawyers were grilled by the justices weighing this question: Are avalanches an inherent risk of skiing, or should resorts be liable for injuries caused by sliding snow within their boundaries?
It depends, they said, on how you interpret dangers listed in the Colorado Ski Safety Act — which doesn’t specifically name avalanches but does include the conditions that create them.
Arguments in the case, which centers on a Winter Park avalanche fatality, were heard at East High School as part of the Courts in the Community program.
The Ski Safety Act, created in 1979 and amended in 1990 and 2004, was created to protect Colorado ski areas from excessive litigation, allowing them to operate without onerous liability insurance premiums. It cites changing weather, nine types of snow conditions, terrain variations and more than two dozen other dangers that are inherent risks of skiing. A skier injured under those risks cannot sue the ski area.
The absence of avalanches in the list makes Winter Park ski area liable for the death of Christopher Norris, said Steamboat Springs attorney Jim Heckbert, who represents Norris’ widow, Salyndra Fleury, in her wrongful-death case.
For the complete story, visit Denverpost.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The first Steamboat Conversations virtual town hall panel of 2021 will focus on Winter Carnival celebrations of the past, featuring longtime locals who will share their memories from 2 to 3 p.m.…