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Judge agrees to change venue for Colorado wrongful death trial

Patricia M. Jarzobski

At the request of the defendant in the case, a venue change has been granted in a wrongful death trial. The judge came to his decision because jurors will need to make several site visits to a Colorado mountain where a man died in an avalanche. The mountain is located in the county where the wrongful death trial will now be held.

The parents of the deceased man initiated the lawsuit, claiming the defendant, a local ski company, violated the Colorado Skier Safety Act by not ensuring all of its ski run gates were closed. The ski company insists the run where the man was skiing was closed at the time of the avalanche. A report on the incident stated the ski company's upper gate was closed but the lower gate was not.

The original site of the trial is located over 100 miles from the mountain, and the new venue is only 30 minutes away. The jurors will be expected to examine many natural aspects of the mountain, such as ski run routes, distances and how they relate to the case and cliffs off the mountain. Another factor in the judge's decision was that most of the witnesses lived near the mountain and they would be inconvenienced to make the trip to the original venue. The date of the trial has not yet been determined.

As in this case, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by the family of the deceased based upon evidence that the death was caused because of the negligence of another person or group of people, whether intentional or not. Each state varies in different aspects of a suit of this type, such as which family members can file the suit and any limitations as to the time in which to file the claim. Colorado residents who have lost loved ones are entitled to seek legal assistance in order to assess the viability of pursuing litigation and to enlist support in preparing and presenting such a claim. 

Source: vaildaily.com, "Wrongful death trial moved to Eagle County", Randy Wyrick, July 14, 2015

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