Judge: Vail Resorts can be sued for avalanche death

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— A judge ruled that Vail Resorts can be sued in the avalanche death of a local teen.

In-bounds avalanches, like the one that killed 13-year-old Taft Conlin on Vail Mountain last January, are not listed among skiing's “inherent risks” listed in the Colorado Skier Safety Act, Broomfield District Court Judge Patrick Murphy ruled late Wednesday afternoon.

Taft's parents, Dr. Louise Ingalls and Dr. Stephen Conlin, sued Vail Resorts last summer, alleging that the company's negligence created an “avalanche trap” that killed their son.

Ingalls was in court Wednesday with the family's attorney, Jim Heckbert of Burg, Simpson's Steamboat Springs law office.

Craig May, Vail Resort's lawyer, argued that while Vail Resorts regrets the loss of life, avalanches are an inherent risk and danger of skiing, and therefore the Colorado Ski Safety Act protects Vail Resorts from any liability for skiers hurt or killed in avalanches.

Read the full story at Vail Daily's website.

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