^Courtesy Cloud 9 Bistro
A hit-and-run incident that occurred at Aspen Highlands last season is the center of an ongoing lawsuit.
A recent article from by Rick Carroll of The Aspen Times reports that the legal battle is just getting started.
I’ll break this case down just a little bit so we can avoid the legal jargon that can be confusing. You’ll see what I mean.
Here’s a summary of what happened:
Daniel Katamanin (defendant) of Chicago is being sued by a skier (plaintiff) that he allegedly hit on the slopes of Aspen Highlands on February 13th, 2020.
The plaintiff’s attorneys argue that Katamanin was skiing drunk after partying at the Cloud Nine Bistro at Aspen Highlands resort just minutes before the incident occurred.
Katamanin’s friends posted pictures and videos of their group spraying champagne bottles and drinking alcoholic beverages at the Cloud Nine Bistro slightly before the incident. A bill for over $4,000 is also being used as evidence against Katamanin.
Katamanin allegedly hit the plaintiff at the bottom of the Upper Jerome trail near the base of Aspen Highlands.
^Site of the crash on Upper Jerome.
Katamanin was allegedly the uphill skier and fled the scene of the crash before ski patrol arrived.
The plaintiff suffered a broken humerus and other injuries.
Here are the recent updates according to The Aspen Times:
The plaintiff’s attorneys are now arguing that Katamanin’s actions were so egregious that they should be allowed to sue for punitive damages. This means they can sue for more money than the cost of the injuries sustained in the incident.
Katamanin’s attorneys are arguing that the plaintiff does not have enough evidence to support the claims, and are now alleging that the plaintiff appeared to be drunk himself.
In short, both sides are arguing that the other side was drunk, the plaintiff is trying to get more money, and the defendant is probably screwed no matter what.
^Photo allegedly shows Katamanin popping champagne bottles at Cloud Nine. Courtesy: Aspen Times
It seems unlikely that Katamanin will walk away from this case without substantial damages. He is clearly seen partying at Cloud Nine in pictures time-stamped before the incident AND he fled the scene.
I don’t know about you, but that stinks of guilt to me.
Now this is a whole separate issue, but I have to point out that Aspen Highlands built a fancy-shmancy bar/party room for rich people to get drunk and pop bottles at 10,000′, what did they expect was going to happen?