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Tahoe ski resort facing lawsuit over fatal avalanche last season

Bill Rozak
Tahoe Daily Tribune

A North Lake Tahoe ski resort is being sued over an inbounds avalanche that killed one and seriously injured another last season.

The lawsuit against Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, owned by Alterra Mountain Company, is seeking damages for negligence, gross negligence and breach of contract.

The suit was filed on Feb. 2 by Ellis Law Group, LLP who is representing Kayley Bloom, in Placer County Superior Court. It alleges Alpine Meadows personnel failed to mitigate avalanche danger and that the run where the fatal event happened should not have been opened after being closed the previous day due to heavy snowfall. About 25 inches of fresh snow was reported on the upper mountain from a storm the day before.



The avalanche happened at about 10 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2020 and claimed the life of 34-year-old Cole Comstock, of Blairsden, Calif., and seriously injured Bloom, the Tribune previously reported.

The plaintiff and Comstock were skiing an inbounds run between Scott Chute and Promised Land near Scott Chair when the snowslide occurred. The lawsuit alleges the run had been closed the day before and “had been unsuccessfully bombed earlier that morning in an attempt to mitigate” avalanche danger.



The plaintiff states he saw Comstock get caught up in the avalanche a moment before he was overtaken.

The plaintiff alleges the resort was in a rush to open ski runs because it was a holiday weekend and the unsuccessful mitigation efforts led to Bloom suffering severe and permanent lower body injuries.

A case management conference has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 1, at the Justice Center in Roseville.

The suit does not specify damages sought other than that it exceeds $25,000.

An avalanche occurred in the advanced area above Alpine Meadows’ Subway lift last year. The incident caused a fatality and seriously injured another man. Justin Scacco / Sierra Sun

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