The parents of a teenager who was killed in a 2012 avalanche at a Vail Resort property are appealing a judge and jury’s decision in a lawsuit over their son’s death, the Vail Daily reports.
Drs. Louise Ingalls and Steve Conlin say judges in Broomfield and Eagle counties erred in several rulings in the case of their son, Taft Conlin, who was killed in an in-bounds avalanche Jan. 22, 2012, while skiing Prima Cornice.
The upper gate to Prima Cornice was closed that day, but the lower gate was open. Taft and a group of friends entered that lower gate and sidestepped up. He started down and took several turns before the avalanche swept him away, the Vail Daily reported.
The parents assert that Vail Resorts did not notify the public that by closing the upper gate, it intended to close that part of Prima Cornice between the two gates. But after a nine-day trial in June, the jury found in favor of the ski company.
Documents filed with the Colorado Court of Appeals say the parents plan to appeal the rulings they dispute and the jury’s verdict, which was based on those rulings.
Among erroneous rulings, the parents say, “misleading, inadmissible or irrelevant” evidence was introduced in the trial, though other evidence was “improperly excluded.”
Vail Resorts says it spent about $1 million to defend the case and will ask Eagle County District Court to order a payment to the company of $173,295.
“As the prevailing party, Vail is entitled to the reasonable costs it incurred in litigating this case,” their request says.
They’ll have to wait, said Denver attorney Jim Heckbert, who is representing the parents.
“Any order to pay costs is held in abeyance until the appeal is decided,” Heckbert said.
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