Burg Simpson Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit On Behalf of A Thirteen-Year-Old Colorado Boy Killed In An Avalanche On Vail Mountain

Burg Simpson Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit On Behalf of A Thirteen-Year-Old Colorado Boy Killed In An Avalanche On Vail Mountain

By Burg Simpson
August 1, 2012
3 min read

Case: Ingalls, Louise H. v. The Vail Corporation; Civil Action Number: 2012 CV 175 in Broomfield County District Court, 17th JD

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh and Jardine, P.C. has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the operators of Colorado’s Vail Ski Resort on behalf of the parents of a thirteen-year-old boy killed in an avalanche. Taft M.Conlin from Eagle County, Colorado, died as a result of being caught in an avalanche while skiing Vail Mountain on January 22, 2012.

James G. Heckbert, attorney for Taft’s surviving parents said, “on the morning of January 22, 2012, an alert was issued for Colorado’s front range region, warning that north facing slopes with a 30-degree incline (similar to those found on Vail Mountain) were at risk of an avalanche. In addition, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center advised skiers to ‘enjoy the powder, but only in the safety of ski areas.’ However, despite the alerts, our lawsuit alleges that Vail Mountain Ski Resort not only failed to warn people of the avalanche hazard, but also failed to close potentially unsafe areas of their resort to skiers.”

The lawsuit filed against the Broomfield-based Vail Corporation, the company that owns and operates Vail Mountain, alleges that despite detailed warnings issued by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center on Saturday, January 21 and Sunday, January, 22 employees at the Vail Mountain Resort failed to take action necessary to prevent Taft from entering an area susceptible to avalanches and unsafe for skiing.

James Heckbert explains, “On January 22, 2012, there were two entrance gates accessing the Prima Cornice Trail from the Prima Trail on Vail Mountain. The upper entrance gate accessing the Prima Cornice Trail was closed, but the lower entrance gate was left open. Sadly, Taft Conlin passed through that gate and unwittingly found himself in an area of Vail Mountain that was unsafe for skiing and at high risk of avalanche. The lawsuit alleges that it was Vail Resort’s failure to properly close-off the area that caused Taft’s death.”

Earlier this year, Burg Simpson filed a similar wrongful death lawsuit against Intrawest Corp, the owners of Winter Park Ski Resort, after Chris Norris, a thirty-two-year-old father of two from Denver, was also killed in an avalanche on January 22, 2012. That case is Fleury, Salyndra v. Intrawest Winter Park Operations Corporation, Civil Action: 2012 CV 132.

With offices in Denver, Cincinnati, Cody, Phoenix and Steamboat Springs, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. is a firm of award-winning national trial lawyers practicing in the areas of personal injury, class action, medical malpractice, dangerous drug litigation, defective products, insurance bad faith, employment law, social security, workers’ compensation, commercial and securities litigation.


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