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Woman's ski lift death could lead to wrongful death lawsuit

Patricia M. Jarzobski

Minor accidents are common and can happen at any time and in any place. Major accidents, those causing significant injury or death, are often the result of negligence. Those types of accidents can result in the injured person or surviving family members of a deceased victim to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. One woman's family may be considering those options against a Colorado ski resort after a fall from a chairlift caused her death.

The 40-year-old was riding on a ski lift at Ski Granby Ranch that transported skiers to beginner and intermediate trails when she fell approximately 20 feet to her death. Her two daughters, 12 and 9 years of age, also fell but survived. The older girl was released after treatment at a nearby hospital, but the condition of the younger child was not revealed after she was airlifted to a medical facility 90 miles away.

Each chair in the lift provides a safety bar, but it is unclear if it was in use at the time of the accident. Falling to one's death from a chairlift is rare, with statistics showing only three falling deaths in the United States not related to mechanical problems in over 10 years. Falls sometimes occur due to a mistake or because of a medical issue on the part of a rider. The investigation into this particular tragedy is ongoing.

Should the investigation reveal mechanical failure or any other form of negligence on the part of the resort, the family of the woman will likely have grounds to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. No two lawsuits are the same, and taking measures to preserve evidence, review eyewitness statements and reconstructing the incident are just a few of the steps a Colorado attorney will take to build a case. Finding the right attorney with the experience to handle the complex issues that may arise is crucial to achieving a successful result.

Source: summitdaily.com, "Texas mother dies, two children injured in chairlift accident at Ski Granby Ranch", Dec. 29, 2016

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