Collisions in the Courtroom: The Legal Landscape of Interpersonal Skiing Accidents in Colorado Since 1979

“High Angle Shot Of A Beautiful Town With Wooden Buildings And Bright Lights On The Streets Surrounded By
Scenic Winter Landscape” Free to Use by Josh Hild on Pexels.


From the start of the ski industry’s popularization, the activity has presented considerable economic benefits to both the facilitators of the sport and the state entities where resorts are housed, as explored in Annie Coleman’s Monograph, Ski Style: Sport and Culture in the Rockies. However, while the monetary value of skiing has increased exponentially each year, the interactions between its industry, individual skiers and the establishment of new laws has been stagnant, resulting in a wild and unmanaged, litigious landscape where lawsuits can be pursued easily. An incredible example of this issue is seen in the state of Colorado, whose chief law governing liability and collisions, the Colorado Ski Safety Act, Donaldson Law argues in their article, “COLORADO’S SKI SAFETY ACT,” holds few and vague rules for skiers and inter-personal collisions, contributing to the ill-defined notions of individual liability and the ease with which lawsuits are submitted. The reason for the vagueness and scarcity of laws concerning individual skier liability is to ultimately support the finances and interests of the industry. This project seeks to examine instances of this trend overtime in capacities of both passed legislation and court action, documenting the contrast between individual and resort liability, and examine the influencing economic factors behind such trends.

Leo in Snow. Photograph by Leo Portnoy, given permission to be used by Leo Portnoy.


“Be With Me,” by Prigida used for intro and outro. Song used from Music from Uppbeat (free for Creators!): License code: HOMTYM1CNWIJBG1C
“People Having Fun on Snow Covered Mountain.” Free to Use by Michal Knotek on Pexels.


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