Fleury v. IntraWest Winter Park Operations Corp.Annotate this Case
Petitioner Salynda E. Fleury brought a negligence and wrongful death suit against respondent IntraWest Winter Park Operations Corporation (“Winter Park”) after her husband was killed in an in-bounds avalanche at its resort. Fleury claimed that, although Winter Park knew that avalanches were likely to occur in the area where her husband was skiing that day, it neither warned skiers about this risk nor closed the area. Winter Park filed a motion for a determination of law under C.R.C.P. 56(h) and for judgment on the pleadings under C.R.C.P. 12(c), arguing that in-bounds avalanches were an inherent risk of skiing as defined in the Ski Safety Act of 1979 (SSA) and that the SSA therefore precluded the lawsuit. The trial court agreed and dismissed the action pursuant to section 33-44-112. The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal in a split decision. The Colorado Supreme Court granted certiorari and affirmed: the definition of “inherent dangers and risks of skiing” in section 33-44-103(3.5), C.R.S. (2015), specifically included “snow conditions as they exist or may change.” This phrase encompassed an in-bounds avalanche, "which is, at its core, the movement, or changing condition, of snow."