Should Ski Resorts Be Liable For Avalanches? Court Will Decide

· Sep. 29, 2015, 1:59 pm
Photo: Avalanche sign at Eldora Mountain Resort (AP Photo)AP
An avalanche danger sign closes off a specific area of the woods due to avalanche risk, on Corona Bowl, known for its extreme skiing, at Eldora Mountain Resort, near Nederland, Colo., Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.

The case has potentially far-reaching implications for the state's $3-billion-a-year ski industry. 

The case involves the death of 28-year-old Christopher Norris, who was killed in 2012 after he was caught in a small avalanche at the Winter Park ski resort. Norris' widow is suing the ski area's operator, Intrawest, arguing that the resort should have closed the area where the avalanche happened.

An attorney for Norris' family told justices Tuesday that resorts have a responsibility to protect skiers from avalanches because they know where slides historically occur.

Lower courts have sided with the ski resort, concluding they're not liable because state law says skiers willingly take a risk on the slopes.

A state Supreme Court ruling could take months.

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