Vail Resorts had their request to throwout a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of 13-year-old who was killed in an inbound avalanche in 2012. District Court Judge Frederick Gannett rejected the request and the family will be moving forward with the wrongful death lawsuit.
13-year-old Taft Conlin was killed in an avalanche back in 2012 after entering the Prima Cornice run. The trail was marked closed higher up on the mountain but there was no signage indicating it was closed where Conlin and his friends entered the run.
The judge ruled there is evidence to suggest the resort intended, but failed, to post signage where Conlin entered and therefore it was not only probable but predictable that patrons would enter the Prima Cornice trail. The ruling allows the Conlin family’s wrongful death lawsuit to move forward.
The Denver Post quotes Judge Gannett with the following:
“This is not necessarily a case of an arguably negligent failure to close a trail upon which there was an avalanche, which would be barred by Fleury. Rather, this may be a case of an intent to close a trail, with the public not being properly notified through signage at identified entrances.”