Family files suit against Ski Granby Ranch for wrongful death

Kelly Huber.
Courtesy of LinkedIn |

The family of the Texas woman who died after falling from a chairlift at Ski Granby Ranch last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit almost one year after the incident.

William Huber, the husband of Kelly Huber, who died following a 25-foot fall to the ground on Dec. 29, 2016, filed the lawsuit Friday in Denver federal court against Granby Realty Holdings LLC, which does business as Ski Granby Ranch.

As guardian of Kelly Huber’s daughters, Ashley and Taylor, William Huber is seeking past and future compensatory damages in the amounts “which will fully compensate for all the injuries and damages suffered by Ashley and Taylor,” according to the lawsuit, and damages resulting from the death of his wife. No dollar figure was disclosed.

William Huber, of San Antonio, Texas, is alleging in the lawsuit that Ski Granby Ranch was guilty of negligence in the death of his wife.

“The event that killed Kelly Huber and severely injured Ashley Huber and Taylor Huber is of the kind that ordinarily does not occur in the absence of negligence,” according to the lawsuit.

“The defendant’s negligence created an unreasonable risk of physical harm and caused both Ashley Huber and Taylor Huber to be put in fear of their own safety,” the lawsuit further stated, which went on to claim that fear has resulted in continuing emotional disturbance for the girls.

Huber and her two daughters were riding up the Quickdraw Express lift at around 9:30 a.m. Dec. 29, located on Ski Granby Ranch’s east mountain, when they fell off. All three were transported to Middle Park Medical Center in Granby. A short time later, officials confirmed that Huber had died from a traumatic rupture of the aorta and blunt force trauma to the torso as a result of the fall.

According to the lawsuit, a witness had noted a “noticeable increase in dynamic cable movement (on the Quickdraw Express) during the first 10 days of the season” at Ski Granby Ranch. Those movements, according to the suit, had been reported to “area representatives.”

Officials with the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board reported that an electronic drive control was the cause of the fatality in a 151-page report released in May. While the heavily technical report laid out the cause of the incident, it stopped short of placing direct blame on any specific party.

“Now that it’s the subject of a lawsuit, we’re not going to be speaking to media about it,” Melissa Cipriani, CEO of Granby Ranch, told Sky-Hi News on Monday.

A new drive control on the Quickdraw Express was installed and programmed this month ahead of the resort’s opening day Friday.

Huber is being represented by Brian Aleinikoff, Bruce Lowell Braley and James Mark Leventhal, attorneys with Leventhal & Puga in Denver, according to court records. The case has been assigned to Judge Raymond Moore.

Cipriani confirmed last month that Granby Ranch will be put up for sale in January.

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