Lawsuit against Vail Resorts wins appeal
September 28, 2010
BEAVER CREEK – Two skiers suing Vail Resorts for similar accidents at Beaver Creek Resort in 2007 got a Colorado Court of Appeals Court ruling Sept. 16 in their favor. Jesse Anderson and Melissa Ciocian both claim to have skied over an unmarked boundary at Beaver Creek within just one week of one another, in February and March of 2007, in which they say they landed on a paved access road and suffered injuries. The skiers are suing the company for negligence, claiming the resort violated the Ski Safety Act by not marking the boundary “in a fashion readily visible to skiers under conditions of ordinary visibility,” as stated in Ski Safety Act law. If the trial court determines there was a violation of the Ski Safety Act, Vail Resorts would be deemed negligent in the case. Beaver Creek spokeswoman Jen Brown released the following statement following the appeals court ruling:”On Sept. 16, the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed the Trial Court’s July 2009 decisions granting Vail Resorts’ motions for summary judgment on both the Anderson and Ciocian lawsuits. The Court of Appeals remanded both matters to the Trial Court, which has not yet set a date for either trial.”The appeals court judge ruled the trial court erred by concluding the ski resort’s exculpatory agreement – the agreement skiers sign when purchasing season passes that release the ski resort from liability from ski-related accidents or injuries – did not violate public policy and also erred in determining the agreement was clear and not open to more than one interpretation. Scott Larson, the attorney representing both Anderson and Ciocian, said the recent ruling means a jury will now get to decide whether Vail Resorts’ actions complied with Ski Safety Act law.The jury would also determine if any damages should be awarded to the skiers and for how much, Larson said. Vail Resorts has 45 days from the date of the appeals court ruling, which was Sept. 16, to challenge the appeals court’s logic with the Colorado Supreme Court. If Vail Resorts has not challenged the ruling by the end of 45 days, the cases will return to the trial court. Neither plaintiff could be reached for this story, nor could the attorney representing Vail Resorts.Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or email@example.com.