Partying at Cloud Nine Bistro at Aspen Highlands is one of the best après traditions in North America. Unfortunately, one skier may have drank a little too much there, leading to a civil lawsuit. The Aspen Times reports that a jury trial over a collision caused by an intoxicated skier is scheduled for Oct. 9 thru 19.
The lawsuit alleges that on February 13, 2020, Dean Katamanin was partying at Cloud Nine Bistro. He left the Bistro around 4 p.m. and sped down the mountain. While skiing down, he crashed into Daniel Leahy, who was the downhill skier and thus had the right of way, at the bottom of the Upper Jerome run.
He did not leave his contact info or yield to Leahy, which is required under the Colorado Ski Safety Act. Leahy suffered numerous injuries, including breaking his humerus. A week later, Daniel Leahy saw social media posts of Dean spraying champagne inside the restaurant.
Some of the important quotes from the motion for partial summary judgment include:
“It is undisputed, as a matter of law, that Defendant Katamanin violated the Skier Safety Act when he skied into Plaintiff Leahy impaired by alcohol… he consumed two beverages, one of which was a mixed-liquor drink with cranberry and sipped beer and champagne.
Defendant Katamanin doesn’t deny drinking, but at the same time, how could he? His table spent over $2,653 on alcohol for 11 people in a one hour and forty-two-minute period.”
Katamanin’s legal team filed a response, which included the following:
“There is no evidence that anyone, including ski patrol or Plaintiff, ever asked Defendant for his identifying information…
This does not in any way prove Dean was impaired at the time of the collision. What alcohol was ordered by 11 people at a table does not establish what was drank by those persons, including Dean, at the table. The evidence is also undisputed that those at the table at which Dean was seated sprayed the champagne. Plaintiff also has no evidence when Dean drank alcohol, how much alcohol was drank, what type of alcohol was drank, what time it was drank, or what, if any, level of alcohol Dean had in his system at the time of the collision, which occurred long after the drinking took place at the restaurant.”
Regardless of the outcome, this situation is a great reminder for skiers and riders to be mindful of how much they’re drinking, especially if you’re at a high-elevation.