Judge denies dismissal of lawsuit against Steamboat Springs by mother of skier who died

Mom argues that city failed to mark dangerous area

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - A request by Steamboat Springs to dismiss a lawsuit by the mother of a dead skier has been denied.

District Judge Shelley Hill issued the order denying the city's request to dismiss the case.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports that Hill denied the city's request to dismiss Maureen Ryan's lawsuit on Thursday. She sued over the death of her teenage son Cooper Larsh, who suffocated after falling head first into deep snow at the city-operated Howelsen Hill in 2011.

Hill said the conditions leading to Larsh's death constituted a "dangerous condition" that waived the city's immunity to the suit. The newspaper reports the city's attorney could not be reached for comment Thursday.

“Given that standard [the Colorado Ski Safety Act], defendants’ decision not to rope off the 20-foot access at the top of the upper closure area constituted an unreasonable risk to the safety of the city’s skiing guests,” Hill wrote in her order, according to the newspaper.

The city’s attorney says the area where Larsh died was closed to skiers, but Ryan disputes whether it was properly marked. The city may choose to appeal the court’s decision.

Print this article Back to Top