Aspen SkiCo Weiner Roast Causes Lift Accident

This case involved a lift loading accident at the base of the Deep Temerity bowl in Aspen Highlands.  Ryan Bradley, a Basalt Middle School teacher, outdoorsman and expert skier, was in line to board the Deep Temerity lift on a snowy Presidents’ Day weekend.  The lift attendants were grilling hot dogs and passing them out to the crowd.  Approximately 15 minutes earlier, the Deep Temerity lift was stopped and a chair was rigged with a support structure to evacuate an injured skier in a toboggan.  The lift attendants had forgotten that the chair with the metal rig attached would be returning to the lift loading area.  The chair, unfit for use, rounded the bull wheel and struck Mr. Bradley, tearing his shoulder (labrum).

Aspen moved for summary judgment, arguing that the waiver contained in the season pass agreement that Mr. Bradley had signed barred the claim.  Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC successfully argued that the waiver was ineffective based upon the facts of the case, and further won the court’s permission to seek exemplary (punitive) damages against Aspen.  After the court’s rulings, the case was settled on confidential terms.