Espinoza v. Arkansas Valley Adventures, No. 14-1444 (10th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Sue Ann Apolinar hired a guide for a family adventure in the Colorado Rockies, which included an overnight rafting and camping excursion on a popular stretch of the Arkansas River running through Brown’s Canyon. While maneuvering around a rapid known locally as "Seidel’s Suck Hole," the raft capsized. Apolinar was swept into a logjam and drowned. Her son, plaintiff-appellant Jesus Espinoza, Jr., brought a lawsuit against the rafting company alleging negligence per se and fraud (and other claims no longer in dispute). The company moved for summary judgment, arguing that the release Apolinar signed shielded it from liability. The district court agreed and entered judgment in favor of the company. Plaintiff appealed, arguing summary judgment was granted in error. Finding no reversible error, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision.