Taft Conlin skier death trial: Vail Resorts’ expert witness says company was correct
From the beginning to today — Conlin's parents sue Vail Resorts for negligence
Taft Conlin was chasing powder on Vail Mountain Jan. 22, 2012, when an in-bounds avalanche killed him. He was 13 years old.
Taft and some friends entered the Prima Cornice run on the front side of the mountain through a lower gate. The upper gate was closed.
After Taft climbed up, an avalanche swept him away and killed him.
His parents, Dr. Louise Ingalls and Dr. Stephen Conlin, sued Vail Resorts for negligence. They say if the ski company wanted the run closed, their staff should have closed both gates.
The ski company says Taft climbed into a closed area. They say if you have to climb to an area, it’s closed.
Below you’ll find a digest of the Vail Daily’s coverage of the Taft Conlin case.
Jury rules for Vail Resorts in skier death case. Upper Prima Cornice was closed where Taft Conlin died in an in-bounds avalanche
Published June 20, 2018
“A six-person jury ruled Wednesday, June 20, that Vail Resorts had closed the upper Prima Cornice run on Vail Mountain’s front side before an in-bounds avalanche killed 13-year-old Taft Conlin on Jan. 22, 2012.” Taft Conlin’s parents had sued the ski company for negligence but the jury did not rule in their favor.
Jury deliberating Conlin case. After six years and a trial, six-person jury left decide civil case
Published June 20, 2018
“After almost six years, a jury is deciding the Taft Conlin skier death case.” The six-person panel heard closing arguments Wednesday morning, June 20, and began deliberations Wednesday afternoon.
Vail Resorts’ expert witness says ski company closed Prima properly, as Taft Conlin skier death case heads into final days
Published June 19, 2018
“Taft Conlin’s parents, Dr. Louise Ingalls and Dr. Stephen Conlin, sued Vail Resorts for negligence following Taft’s death, claiming that while the upper gate to the Prima Cornice run on the front side of Vail Mountain was closed, the lower gate was open. ” Testimony closed Tuesday, June 19, and closing arguments could come Wednesday, June 20, in the civil trial.
‘It might get progressively easier, but it doesn’t ever go away.’ Taft Conlin’s parents recall the day their son died
Published June 18, 2018
“Taft’s parents, Dr. Louise Ingalls and Dr. Stephen Conlin, testified Monday, June 18, the day before what would have been their son’s 20th birthday.” The heartbreaking testimony from Taft Conlin’s parents starts the second week of the skier death trial.
Vail ski patrollers recount the day Taft Conlin died; lower Prima Cornice was ‘good to go’ for skiing, they said
Published June 15, 2018
“The Vail Resorts ski patrollers testifying for their company have more than 100 years of combined experience, and all testified that they are unaware of anyone hiking up from Prima Cornice’s lower gate to access better snow.” Consistent testimony from Vail Resorts ski patrollers left Jim Heckbert, the attorney for Taft Conlin’s parents, unconvinced.
Jury shown video of Taft Conlin’s final, fatal run as Vail skier death case wraps first week
Published June 15, 2018
“The courtroom was stone silent as it watched the last moments of young Taft Conlin’s life. GoPro video from Conlin and another of the boys with whom he was skiing wrapped up the first week of testimony in the skier death lawsuit his parents filed against Vail Resorts. ” Videos of Taft Conlin’s final ski run are viewed in court.
Skiers say they climb, patrollers say they’re not aware as testimony continues in Taft Conlin skier death trial
Published June 14, 2018
“A six-person jury will decide what was closed and wasn’t on Jan. 22, 2012, the day an in-bounds avalanche on Vail Mountain killed 13-year-old Taft Conlin.” The Vail Resorts website listed Prima Cornice as open the day Conlin died. Testimony continues in the Taft Conlin skier death trial.
Testimony begins in Taft Conlin skier death case; skiers, ski patroller take the stand on Day 2
Published June 13, 2018
“Keith Reihe worked with Vail Resorts for decades as a ski patroller and retired in April. He was in his 17th year on patrol on Jan. 22, 2012. Reihe said he has no knowledge that people make that climb from the lower Prima Cornice gate when the upper gate is closed.” Day 2 of the Taft Conlin skier death case includes testimony from skiers and ski patrollers.
Taft Conlin skier death lawsuit against Vail Resorts hits court, will continue for up to three weeks
Published June 12, 2018
“A jury will decide where the truth lies in a negligence lawsuit against Vail Resorts.
Either Taft Conlin hiked up further than the length of a football field and higher than a 10-story building to access closed terrain on Vail Mountain’s Prima Cornice run, causing his own death, or Vail Resorts failed to properly restrict access to the terrain and that negligence caused Conlin’s death.”
Opening statements and witness testimony in the three-week civil trial began Tuesday, June 12 for the Taft Conlin skier death lawsuit against Vail Resorts.
Additional coverage on Taft Conlin and the negligence case can be found here.