Family sues Intrawest over skier’s death in Winter Park avalanche
Ryan Summerlin May 22, 2012
The wife of a skier killed in a January avalanche inside the Winter Park ski area has filed a wrongful death suit targeting the Denver-owned ski area’s operator, Intrawest.
“It is up to the people who are running the ski area to either rope off the area or make sure it’s safe,” said attorney Michael Burg, whose Burg Simpson firm is representing Norris’ widow, Salyndra Fleury. “A family goes up skiing and they have no idea there is a potential to be killed by an avalanche. That’s ridiculous. This is gross negligence.”
Intrawest declined to comment.
Avalanche danger was high on Jan. 22. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center that morning cited high winds and heavy snow when issuing an avalanche forecast warning of “widespread dangerous avalanche conditions.”
“Triggering avalanches remotely and from low angle or even flat terrain is likely,” read the Jan. 22 forecast. “Be very wary near or below any avalanche terrain, and keep in mind that even small slides can bury and kill you.”
It’s unlikely 28-year-old Norris, father of a 3-year-old and 4-month-old, checked in on the forecast that morning before heading up to Mary Jane with his father-in-law. Even if he did, the forecast urged skiers to “enjoy the powder in the safety of the ski area.”
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