Vail Not Liable for Death

A six-year legal battle by a family who lost their son ended yesterday with a jury verdict in favor of Vail Resorts. Thirteen-year-old Taft Colin was killed at Vail Mountain on Jan. 22, 2012 by an in-bounds avalanche. His parents filed a lawsuit against Vail.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that under Colorado’s Skier Safety Act, in-bounds avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing. The claim against Vail in Colin’s case was then restated as a claim for negligence rather than wrongful death. The family argued that Vail Resorts was negligent when it did not adequately warn skiers at the lower gate to Prima Cornice that the run was closed above the gate. Ski patrollers had closed Prima Cornice’s upper gate. The jury found that Vail had not violated the Colorado Ski Safety Act. To read more of the analysis, Taft Conlin Case comment letter by Jim Chalat.