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Family of avalanche victim targets air bag maker

Peter Marshall was killed in a January 2019 avalanche while taking a class near Red Mountain Pass. His family is suing Backcountry Access, which made his avalanche air bag pack

Jason Blevins
The Colorado Sun
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center report on the Jan. 5 fatal avalanche included this photograph looking across US Highway 550 into Sen. Beck Basin up Red Mountain Pass. The red circle marks the area of the avalanche accident
CSAS, NASA Airborne Snow Observatory, and SnowEx/Courtesy photo

The family of Peter Marshall, who was killed in an avalanche near Red Mountain Pass as he participated in an avalanche safety class with the Silverton Avalanche School, has dropped its lawsuit against the venerable school.

But the family of the 40-year-old Longmont skier is suing K2 Sports and its company Backcountry Access, which makes the air bag backpack that was not deployed when rescuers found Marshall buried in more than 8 feet of avalanche debris.

“Peter Marshall attempted to trigger his Float 32 avalanche air bag system, but it did not fully deploy or inflate,” reads the product liability complaint filed in Boulder District Court. The lawsuit does not describe how the family determined Marshall attempted to deploy the air bag but failed.



K2 Sports, which is owned by private equity firm Kohlberg & Co., denied the allegations in a response to the complaint filed this month, arguing the air bag was not defective and the losses suffered by the Marshall family were the result of “voluntary acts and not caused by any act or omission” by the pack manufacturer. The lawyers for K2 Sports cited 16 facts they believe eliminate the company’s liability in their request that the judge dismiss the case.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.




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