New Regulations have been issued by the CO Department of Labor & Employment for Amusement Rides and Devices

That means Trampoline Parks, Ropes Courses, Climbing Walls, Playground Equipment, Climbers, Fitness Devices, Exercise Equipment, Paddle Boats, any amusement ride operated at a private event and the list goes on.

The Amended Regulations can be found here: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/CODOPS/2019/03/06/file_attachments/1168134/AmusementRegulationsRedline2019.pdf

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

Division of Oil and Public Safety

AMUSEMENT RIDES AND DEVICES REGULATIONS

7 CCR 1101-12

ARTICLE 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1-1 Basis and Purpose

This regulation is promulgated to establish reasonable standards for the construction, inspection, operation, repair and maintenance of amusement rides and devices located in Colorado in the interest and safety of the general public, to establish financial standards for the operation of amusement rides and devices in a public setting and to provide for a registration process for amusement rides and devices.

Section 1-2 Statutory Authority

The amendments to these regulations are created pursuant to C.R.S. § 8-20-1001 through 8-20-1004 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.). All prior rules for amusement rides and devices are hereby repealed.

Section 1-3 Effective Date

This regulation shall be effective June 15, 2019 July 30, 2015. The operators of previously unregistered amusement rides and devices shall have up to three months from the effective date of these regulations to comply with Section 2-3-1 (A) (6).

Section 1-4 Scope

These rules and regulations shall apply to the construction, inspection, operation, repair and maintenance of amusement rides and devices located in Colorado by any individual, corporation, company, firm, partnership, association, or state or local government agency.

These rules and regulations shall not apply to:

(A) Coin operated model horse and model rocket rides, mechanical horse or bull rides, and other coin activated or self-operated devices.

(B) Non-mechanized playground equipment including but not limited to swings, seesaws, stationary spring mounted animal features, rider propelled merry-go-rounds, climbers, slides, swinging gates and physical fitness devices.

(C) Live animal rides or live animal shows.

(D) Climbing walls used for sport and fitness training, located in educational facilities, schools, gymnasiums, sport and public entity recreational facilities, or other facilities solely devoted to sport and recreational activities, training and instruction.

(E) Institutional trampolines used solely for sport and fitness training, located in educational facilities, schools, gymnasiums, sport and public entity recreational facilities or other facilities solely devoted to sport and recreational activities, training and instruction. All training must be conducted by a certified gymnastics or trampoline coach. The facility and coach must carry certifications from a nationally recognized gymnastics or trampoline governing association.

(F) Race-karts owned and operated by individuals who compete against each other, or rental race-karts available for rent at competitive sport race-kart tracks solely used for sanctioned racing where drivers have attended and passed a practical driver safety training test to establish their competency, or hold an applicable valid competition license certification from a recognized motor sport sanctioning body.

(G) Skating rides, arcades, laser paintball games, bowling alleys, miniature golf courses, inflatable devices, ball crawls, exercise equipment, jet skis, paddle boats, air boats, hot air balloons whether tethered or untethered, batting cages, games and side shows.

(H) Any amusement ride or device operated at a private event that is not open to the general public and not subject to a separate admission charge or any amusement ride or device owned and operated by a non-profit organization who meets all the requirements in Sections 2-1 and 2-2 of these regulations and operates their rides less than 8 days in any calendar year.

(I) Any amusement ride or device operator who notifies the Division in writing that his or her ride or device is inspected and licensed certified or issued a permit by one of the following agencies where said agency inspects and issues a license or permit for the ride or device shall be exempt from the requirements of this subsection these regulations, provided that the ride or device requirements of said agency meets or exceeds the requirements of standards adopted in this regulation.

(1) Any municipality or local government within the state of Colorado

(2) Another state agency within the state of Colorado

(3) Any federal government agency

(J) Any local government that has received a temporary or permanent waiver from the Division pursuant to Executive Order D 2011-005. To obtain a waiver the affected local government must demonstrate that the requirements in these regulations conflict with other statutes or regulations (including those of local governments) or are unduly burdensome. A cost benefit analysis or other supporting documentation should be included with the waiver request.

(K) Water slides less than 18 feet in elevation change from point of dispatch to the end of the slide.

Section 1-5 Codes and Standards

(A) The following codes of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F24 Committee on Amusement Rides and Devices, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) are incorporated by reference.

(BA) All amusement rides and devices shall comply with the following these standards, including, but not limited to the following unless specifically exempted in these regulations. If there is no applicable standard for an amusement ride or device, operators shall comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations. When adopted standards and manufacturer recommendations differ, the more stringent requirement shall apply. Devices must comply with adopted standards that were effective at the time of manufacture, as applicable.

(1) ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959

(ia) Standard Terminology Relating to Amusement Rides and Devices: F747-06-15

(iib) Standard Practice for Ownership and, Operation, Maintenance and Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices Designation: F 770-1418

(iii) Standard Practice for Design and Manufacture of Patron Directed, Artificial Climbing Walls, Dry Slide, Coin Operated and Purposeful Water Immersion Amusement Rides and Devices and Air Supported Structures Designation: F 1159-11

(c) Standard Practice for Design and Manufacturing of Amusement Rides and Devices that are Outside the Purview of Other F24 Design Standards: F1159-16

(ivd) Standard Practice for Quality, Manufacture, and Construction of Amusement Rides and Devices Designation: F1193-1418

(e) Standard Test Method for Composite Foam Hardness-Durometer Hardness: F1957-17

(vf) Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, and Operation of Concession Go-Karts and Facilities Designation: F2007-12

(vig) Standard Practice for Measuring the Dynamic Characteristics of Amusement Rides and Devices Designation: F 2137-1316

(viih) Standard Practice for Design of Amusement Rides and Devices Designation: F 2291-1418

(viii) Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Installation and Testing of Climbing Nets and Netting/Mesh used in Amusement Rides, Devices, Play Areas and Attractions: F2375-0917

(ixj) Standard Practice for Classification, Design, Manufacture, Construction, and Operation of Water Slide Systems Designation: F 2376-1317a

(xk) Standard Practice for Special Requirements for Bumper Boats Designation: F 2460-11

(xil) Standard Practice for Special Requirements for Aerial Adventure Courses Designation: F 2959-1418

(xiim) Standard Practice for Permanent Amusement Railway Ride Tracks and Related Devices: F2960-1416

(xiiin) Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Installation, Operation, Maintenance, Inspection and Major Modification of Trampoline Courts: F2970-1517

(xivo) Standard Practice Guide for Auditing Amusement Rides and Devices: F2974-1318

(p) Standard Practice for Operations of Amusement Railway Rides, Devices, and Facilities: F3054-18

(q) Standard Practice for Classification, Design, Manufacturing, Construction, Maintenance, and Operation of Stationary Wave Systems: F3133-16

(r) Standard Practice for Patron Transportation Conveyors Used with a Water-Related Amusement Ride or Device: F3158-16

(s) Standard Practice for Characterization of Fire Properties of Materials Specified for Vehicles Associated with Amusement Rides and Devices: F3214-18

(2) National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), One Battery march Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471

(ia) National Electrical Code 2014 Designation: NFPA 70

(3) Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), PO Box 4719797, Deerfield Boulder, IL CO 6001580308

(ia) Challenge Course and Canopy/Zip Line Tour Standards, ANSI/ACCT 03-2016Eighth Edition

(CB) Interested parties may inspect the referenced incorporated materials by contacting the Program Manager, Amusement Rides and Devices, 633 17th Street, Suite 500, Denver, CO 80202.

(DC) This rule does not include later amendments to or editions of the incorporated material.

(D) A device is not required to meet the current edition of the specific standard if it has a service proven design according to the ASTM F2291-18 and this design is approved by the Division.

(E) The Division may grant the use of alternate methods and procedures on a case-specific basis for requirements of the adopted codes or standards listed in this section.

(1) The Division shall require justification of the alternative method or procedure.

(2) The alternate methods and procedures request shall be submitted on a form provided by the Division.

(3) A submitted alternate methods and procedures request shall not relieve an operator from complying with the applicable standards adopted in these regulations unless the Division expressly approves the request.

(4) The Division may deny any request at its discretion.

(F) If the existing amusement ride or device has had a major modification since the last periodic or annual inspection, the post-modification inspection of that ride or device shall be conducted in compliance with ASTM F 2974-18 Section 9 or ANSI/ACCT 03-2016 Chapter 1 Section B for Challenge courses and canopy/zip line tours.

(G) All amusement rides and devices must conform to the current requirements of “Standard Practice for Ownership and Operation of Amusement Rides and Devices” Designation F770-18 or ANSI/ACCT 03-2016 Chapter 2 (as applicable by ride type), regardless of date of manufacture or installation.

(H) Amusement rides and devices of site-specific or prototype construction shall be constructed, maintained and repaired as certified by a Professional Engineer. These certifications must be available for review by the Division.

(I) Bungee Jumping

(1) A system review (structures, cords, harnesses, attachment components, etc.) that includes evaluation and inspection by a Colorado registered Professional Engineer, with his/her certification/stamp that the system design is adequate for the intended application, shall be provided to the Public Safety Section Division.

(2) Where the facility incorporates a crane structure for hoisting customers and/or staff members, the mechanism must conform to national standards. These standards include both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standards (OSHA) – 1926.1501 – July 1, 2011, excluding the subsequent addenda incorporated by the code forward, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B30.5 – 2014. Documentation of this conformity shall be provided to the Division.

(3) Where the facility incorporates a hot air balloon for elevation purposes, copies of the current, valid Standard Airworthiness Certificate and Special Airworthiness Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and records showing that all maintenance and alterations have been performed in accordance with Parts 21, 43, and 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations excluding the subsequent addenda, shall be provided to the Division.

Section 1-6 Definitions

The following words when used in these rules and regulations shall mean:

AERIAL ADVENTURE COURSE: A patron participatory facility or facilities consisting of one or more elevated walkways, platforms, zip lines, nets, ropes, or other elements that require the use of fall hazard Personal Safety Equipment (PSE). Typically noted as ropes courses, free fall devices and zip lines in the regulation.

AIMS: Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers International

AMUSEMENT RIDE OR DEVICE: Any mechanized device or combination of devices which carry or convey persons along, around or over a fixed or restricted course for the purpose of giving its passengers amusement, pleasure, thrills, excitement or the opportunity to experience the natural environment.

Amusement rides and devices include but are not limited to, an aggregation of amusement rides and devices in an amusement setting such as amusement parks, carnivals, fairs and festivals. Amusement rides and devices also include but are not limited to, bungee jumping, bungee trampolines, trampolines, climbing walls in amusement settings, concession go-karts, bumper boats devices, gravity-propelled rides and devices, water slides, trackless trains, simulators, stationary wave systems, and traditional amusement rides.

AMUSEMENT RIDE, CLASS A: An amusement ride designed primarily for use by children 12 years of age or younger, typically referred to as a “kiddie ride.”

AMUSEMENT RIDE, CLASS B: Any amusement ride not defined as a Class A amusement ride.

BRAKE, EMERGENCY: A brake located on a zip line that is engaged upon failure of the primary brake, with no input from the zip line participant, in order to prevent serious injury or death resulting from primary brake failure.

BRAKE SYSTEM: An arrangement of primary and emergency brakes that are designed to function together.

BUMPER BOATSDEVICES: Boats Devices that are used to bump into each other intentionally as directed by drivers as a form of entertainment.

BUNGEE TRAMPOLINES: A type of trampoline where the patron is assisted by a harness attached to bungee cords.

CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION: The documentation of the annual amusement ride inspection conducted by an qualified Third-Party inspector. Certificates of Inspection are valid for 12 months from the date of inspection.

CIRSA: Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency

CLIMBING WALL: An artificially constructed wall with holds for hands and feet used for climbing. Regulated climbing walls include climbing walls located in amusement settings and fixed or portable climbing walls for use by the general public as amusement devices and not for sport or fitness training.

CONCESSION GO-KARTS: A single vehicle which is powered without connection to a common energy source, which is drivercontrolled with respect to acceleration, speed, braking and steering, which operates within the containment system of a defined track, which simulates competitive motor sports, and which is used by the general public. Concession go-karts typically operate at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.

DIVISION: The Director of the Division of Oil and Public Safety of the Department of Labor and Employment, or any designees thereof which may include certain employees of the Division of Oil and Public Safety or other persons.

FREE FALL DEVICE: A component of an aerial adventure course used to control a patron’s intentional decent from an elevated structure and engineered to allow the patron to experience a rapid initial descent while ensuring a comfortable and controlled landing.

IATP: International Association of Trampoline Parks

INFORMATION PLATE: A manufacturer-issued information plate, printed in English, which is permanently affixed to a ride or device in a visible location, and is designed to remain legible for the expected life of a ride or device. The plate shall include, but not be restricted to, the following applicable items:

Ride Serial Number – A manufacturer-issued unique identifying number or code affixed to the ride in a permanent fashion.

Ride Name and Manufacturer – A manufacturer-issued unique identifying ride name, including the name of the manufacturer by city, state, and country.

Ride Model Number – A manufacturer-issued unique identifying number or code assigned to each manufactured type of ride having the same structural design or components.

Date of Manufacture – The date (month and year) determined by the manufacturer that the given ride or device met his required construction specifications.

Ride Speed – Maximum and minimum revolutions per minute, feet per second, or miles per hour, as applicable.

Direction of Travel – When the proper direction of travel is essential to the design operation of the ride, the manufacturer shall designate the direction of travel, including reference point for this designation.

Passenger Capacity by Weight – Maximum total passenger weight per passenger position.

Passenger Capacity by Number – Maximum total number of adult or child passengers per passenger position and per ride.

INJURY: Means an injury that results in death or requires immediate medical treatment administered by a physician or by registered professional personnel under the standing orders of a physician. Medical treatment does not include first aid treatment or one-time treatment and subsequent observation of minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters, or other minor injuries that do not ordinarily require medical care even though treatment is provided by a physician or by registered professional personnel.

INJURY, REPORTABLE: Any injury (as defined) caused by a malfunction or failure of an amusement ride or device, or any injury (as defined) caused by a ride operator or patron error.

INSPECTION: A procedure to be conducted by an third-party inspector or Division employee to determine whether an amusement ride or device is being constructed, assembled, maintained, tested, operated, and inspected in accordance with the standards adopted by these regulations and the manufacturer’s recommendations, as applicable, and that determines the current operational safety of the ride or device. All inspections shall be documented by a written inspection report to be filed with the operator.

INSPECTOR: A third party qualified by training, such as attainment of Level II certification from the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO), attainment of Level II certification from the Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers International (AIMS), attainment of a Qualified Inspector certification from the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture – General Qualified Inspector status or other similar qualification from another nationally recognized organization; or education, such as registration as a Professional Engineer; or experience evaluated and approved in advance, A third-party certified by the Division, to conduct inspections of amusement rides or devices in accordance with the standards adopted by these regulations and the manufacturer’s recommendations and criteria.

MAJOR MODIFICATION: Any change in either the structural or operational characteristics of the ride or device which will alter its performance from that specified in the manufacturer’s design criteria.

NAARSO: National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials.

OPERATOR: A person or the agent of a person, corporation or company. An individual, corporation, or company or agent thereof who owns, controls or has the duty to control the operation of an amusement ride or device.

PERMIT YEAR: The time during which an operator is registered that begins on the registration effective date and ends 12 months from the effective date. These dates appear on the signed permit that an operator receives once the registration application has been approved.

QUALIFIED PERSON: An individual who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing; or who, by possession of extensive knowledge, training, and/or experience in the subject field; has successfully demonstrated ability in design, analysis, evaluation, installation, inspection, specification, testing, or training in the subject work, project, or product, in accordance with the standards adopted by these regulations.

RACE-KARTS: A go-kart designed for competitive sport racing use in either sanctioned racing on tracks or other areas of competition, or in a racing school facility, and not to be used by the general public in an amusement facility. Race-kart drivers must wear approved safety equipment, consisting of a minimum of a Snell or DOT approved helmet and closed-toed shoes. Race-karts regularly reach maximum speeds in excess of 25 miles per hour.

REGISTRATION: The filing of a properly completed application with the Division and approval of the application by the Division.

REPORTABLE INJURY: Any injury (as defined) caused by a malfunction or failure of an amusement ride or device, or any injury (as defined) caused by a ride operator or patron error which impairs the function of an amusement ride or device.

RIDE OPERATOR: The person that has control of the amusement ride or device at all times or is supervising a patron-directed device when it is being operated for the public’s use. This person must be trained in accordance with the standards adopted by these regulations and in accordance with an operator training program or specifications provided by the amusement ride or device designer, engineer or manufacturer.

SERVICE PROVEN: As defined in ASTM F2291-18, “an amusement ride, device, or major modification to an amusement ride or device of which units(s) have been in service to the public for a minimum of five years and unit(s) that have been in service have done so without any significant design related failures or significant design related safety issues that have not been mitigated.”

SIMULATOR: Any amusement ride that is a self-contained unit that uses a motion picture simulation, along with a mechanical movement which requires the use of manufacturer-provided restraints, to simulate activities that provide amusement or excitement for the patron.

SUBSIDIARY RELATIONSHIP: An independent company that is controlled by another company, usually referred to as the parent or holding company.

TRACKLESS TRAIN: An articulated vehicle used for the transport of passengers, comprising of a driving vehicle pulling one or more carriages connected by drawbar couplings. Also known as barrel trains.

TRAMPOLINE, INSTITUTIONAL: A trampoline intended for use in a commercial or institutional facility.

TRAMPOLINE COURT OR TC: A defined area comprising one or more institutional trampolines or a series of institutional trampolines.

TRAMPOLINE COURT FOAM PIT OR TC FOAM PIT: A combination style dismount pit designed with a rebound device, covered with loose impact absorbing blocks.

WATER SLIDES: Rides intended for use by riders in bathing attire where the action of the ride involves possible and purposeful immersion of the rider’s body either in whole or in part in water, and uses circulating water to mobilize or lubricate the rider’s transportation along a purpose built path.

ZIP LINE: A concession, commercial amusement device where participants attached to a pulley traverse by gravity from one point to another by use of a cable or rope line suspended between support structures.

ZIP LINE TOUR OR ZIP LINE COURSE: A guided aerial exploration or transit of a landscape by means of a series of zip lines and platforms generally supported by man-made structures.

ARTICLE 2 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Amusement rides and devices may not open to the public within the State of Colorado unless the operator has registered with the Division, received a permit from the Division and has satisfied and is continuing to satisfy the requirements as provided herein.

Section 2-1 Financial Standards

(A) Any person who operates an amusement ride must have currently in force an insurance policy written by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state or by a surplus lines insurer, in an amount of not less than $100,000 per occurrence with a $300,000 annual aggregate for Class A amusement rides and devices and an amount of not less than $1 million per occurrence for Class B amusement rides and devices insuring the owner or operator against liability for injury to persons arising out of the use of the amusement ride.

(B) For governmental entities, insurance or self-insurance in accordance with § 24-10-115 C.R.S. of The Governmental Immunity Act, or participation in a public entity self-insurance pool pursuant to § 24-10-115.5 C.R.S. of The Governmental Immunity Act shall be deemed to meet the financial standards of this section.

Section 2-2 Technical Standards Access to Records and Devices

Amusement rides shall be constructed, maintained, operated and repaired subject to the following standards:

2-2-1 General

(A) Amusement rides or devices or any part thereof shall be constructed, maintained, operated and repaired in accordance with the standards adopted by these regulations and the manufacturer’s recommendations, as applicable, in order to provide for an operation free from recognized safety hazards.

(B) Amusement rides and devices shall be constructed, maintained, operated and repaired in accordance with all otherwise applicable federal, state and local safety, fire, health or building codes or standards.

(C) Amusement rides and devices of site-specific or prototype construction shall be constructed, maintained and repaired as certified by a Professional Engineer. These certifications must be available for review by the Division.

2-2-2 Bungee Jumping

(A) A system review (structures, cords, harnesses, attachment components, etc.) that includes evaluation and inspection by a Colorado registered Professional Engineer, with his/her certification/stamp that the system design is adequate for the intended application, shall be provided to the Public Safety Section.

(B) All elements of the ASTM – Standards on Amusement Rides and Devices (2014 Edition), excluding the subsequent addenda incorporated by the code forward, are to be conformed to as a minimum standard. Documentation of this conformity shall be provided to the Division.

(C) Where the facility incorporates a crane structure for hoisting customers and/or staff members, the mechanism must conform to national standards. These standards include both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standards (OSHA) – 1926.1501 – July 1, 2011, excluding the subsequent addenda incorporated by the code forward, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B30.5 – 2011. Documentation of this conformity shall be provided to the Division.

(D) Where the facility incorporates a hot air balloon for elevation purposes, copies of the current, valid Standard Airworthiness Certificate and Special Airworthiness Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and records showing that all maintenance and alterations have been performed in accordance with Parts 21, 43, and 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations excluding the subsequent addenda, shall be provided to the Division.

2-2-1 Access

(A) Division representative may enter during normal business hours, without advance notice, the premises where amusement rides and devices are located, including places of storage or use, for the purpose of device inspections and/or examining any records or documents required under these regulations.

2-2-2 Records Requirements

(A) Every amusement ride or device operator shall maintain detailed records relating to the construction, repair and maintenance of its operation, including safety, inspection, maintenance records and ride operator training activities.

(B) Records shall be made available to the Division at reasonable times, including during an inspection upon the Division’s request.

(C) Records of daily inspections must be available for inspection at the location where the ride or device is operated.

(D) All records must be maintained for a period of three years, unless otherwise specified in this regulation.

Section 2-3 Registration

No person shall open to the public and operate any amusement ride or device on property owned or leased by such person until the operator of the amusement ride or device has first registered and obtained a permit for operation from the Division.

2-3-1 Application Submission and Processing

(A) The Amusement Rides and Devices application shall be submitted annually on the form prescribed by the Division and shall include the following registration requirements.

(1) The name and address of the operator.

(2) The trade name of the manufacturer, and the serial number of all rides and devices.

(3) A report of any injury occurring in any state that meets the definition of a reportable injury as defined in this regulation.

(4) A list of the dates and locations of operation of the amusement rides or devices within the state for the upcoming permit year, including the dates at each location. This list may be

updated throughout the permit year, provided that notification is received by the Division prior to operation.

(5) The name of all liability insurance carriers and the insurance policy numbers.

(6) An original amusement ride Certificate of Inspection for each amusement ride or device showing the name, serial number, manufacturer of the ride, the inspector’s name, the owner/operator name and other information as required by 2-4 of these rules.

(7) Any other information reasonably related to the standards set forth in Article 2.

(8) A certificate of liability insurance for the registration period in an amount of not less than $100,000 per occurrence with a $300,000 annual aggregate for Class A amusement rides and devices and an amount of not less than $1 million per occurrence for Class B amusement rides and devices insuring the owner or operator against liability for injury to persons arising out of the use of the amusement ride or device. For governmental entities, insurance or self-insurance in accordance with § 24-10-115 C.R.S. of The Governmental Immunity Act, or participation in a public entity self-insurance pool pursuant to § 24-10-115.5 C.R.S. of The Governmental Immunity Act shall be deemed to meet the financial standards of this section.

(B) Upon receipt of an application, the Division shall review the application, and upon determining that the provisions of these rules have been met, shall approve the application, register the amusement rides or devices and issue a permit to operate.

(C) The submittal of a registration application does not guarantee the registration of any amusement ride or device. The owner/operator must obtain a permit from the Division prior to opening any ride or device to the public.

2-3-2 Application Fees Table 2-3-2 Annual Registration Fees
Fee Category Registration Fee Per Amusement Ride or Device Operator +

(and)

Registration Fee Per Amusement Ride or Device
Fee Amount $500 +

(and)

$130

2-3-3 Incomplete Applications

(A) Upon receipt of an incomplete application or an application requiring additional information, the applicant will be notified of the deficiency or additional requirements.

(B) If the deficiency is not corrected or if the Division does not receive the additional information within 180 days following the date of notification, the application shall be considered abandoned and the Division shall not retain the application.

2-3-4 Aerial Adventure Courses

(A) Each aerial adventure course is generally considered to be one ride or device based on the information plate.

(B) If an information plate is not provided, and the owner/operator registers multiple aerial adventure courses as one device, the following will apply:

(1) All aerial adventure courses registered as one device shall be inspected and listed on the Certificate of Inspection as one device by the Third-Party inspector.

(2) When any one aerial adventure course registered in the device is shut down or inoperative, all other aerial adventure courses included in the device must also be shut down.

(C) It is the responsibility of the aerial adventure course owner/operator to correctly register each device being operated.

2-3-5 Trampoline Courts

(A) Each trampoline court is generally considered to be one ride or device based on the information plate.

2-3-6 Zip Lines

(A) Each zip line is generally considered to be one ride or device based on the information plate.

(B) If an information plate is not provided and the owner/operator registers multiple zip lines as one device, the following will apply:

(1) All zip lines registered as one device shall be inspected and listed on the Certificate of Inspection as one device by the Third-Party inspector.

(2) When any one zip line registered in the device is shut down or inoperative, all other zip lines included in the device must also be shut down.

(C) It is the responsibility of the zip line owner/operator to correctly register each device being operated.

Section 2-4 Inspections

2-4-1 Annual Inspections

(A) An annual inspection by an Third-Party inspector must be conducted on each amusement ride or device.

(1) Each amusement ride or device must have a current Certificate of Inspection prior to opening to the public.

(12) The inspection shall be conducted with the amusement ride or device in an operable state prior to opening to the public and include an evaluation of the ride or device for a minimum of one complete operating cycle, where applicable.

(23) The inspection shall also include a review of the operator’s daily inspection records, inspection and maintenance program records and training records in accordance with the standards adopted by these regulations and the manufacturer’s recommendations, as applicable.

(B) Any amusement ride or device open to the public in the state of Colorado must have a valid Certificate of Inspection on file with the Division.

(1) Each item number on the Certificate of Inspection is considered to represent one ride or device.

(2) The ride owner/operator shall be responsible for submitting a completed and signed Certificate of Inspection to the Division for all rides or devices being opened to the public.

(3) A grace period of 30 days immediately following the expiration date of a Certificate of Inspection shall exist and that Certificate of Inspection shall continue to be valid during that time period.

(4) An inspection report for each amusement ride or device shall be made available to the Division at reasonable times, including during an inspection, upon the Division’s request.

(C) The inspection certificate shall not be submitted to the Division until all discrepancies have been resolved and all necessary repair(s) or replacement(s) required in accordance with the standards of Section 2-2 have been made.

(1) Resolution of discrepancies, repairs and replacements may be documented in writing by the owner/operator and delivered to the inspector.

(2) The inspector may corroborate such letter by review thereof, subsequent re-inspection, receipt of additional documentation or by other means which the inspector deems appropriate.

(3) Corroborated discrepancies, repairs and replacements shall not require further inspection and such resolution shall be deemed to be in accordance with the standards of Section 2-2.

(D) No person shall open to the public an amusement ride or device that has been inspected by an qualified inspector or by the Division according to Section 2-2 of these regulations and found to be unsafe unless:

(1) All necessary repairs and modifications to the ride have been completed and certified as completed by an qualified inspector and

(2) A valid Certificate of Inspection is on file with the Division.

2-4-2 Daily Inspections

(A) In addition to the annual inspection required under this section, the owner/operator who operates an amusement ride or device must perform and record daily inspections of each amusement ride or device.

(B) Records of the daily inspections must be available for inspection at the location where the amusement ride or device is operated, and the records must be maintained with the amusement ride or device for a period of three years.

(C) The daily inspection records must include an inspection of equipment identified for daily inspection in accordance with the applicable codes and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

2-4-3 New Installation and Major Modification Inspections

(A) New ride installations and following major modifications of existing rides, a signed certificate of inspection shall be submitted to the Division before the ride is opened to the public.

(B) The operator shall make available to the Division a written statement, completed by a qualified person or agent thereof, stating that the ride meets the applicable design requirements set forth in Section 1-5 of these regulations. The qualified person or agent thereof shall identify under which standards the ride was evaluated.

(C) Additionally, the operator shall make available to the Division for any new installation or structural change, the following:

(1) An as built document.

(2) A copy of the certificate of occupancy issued by the local building authority, if the local building authority has such a requirement. This requirement may be fulfilled within 90 days following the issuance of the Registration Permit from the Division.

(D) For sub-sections (B) and (C) these documents shall be maintained for the life of the ride or device.

Section 2-5 Ride Operations

2-5-1 General

(A) All operator personnel shall be trained in accordance with these regulations, adopted codes and standards, and any applicable recommendations provided by the amusement ride or device manufacturer.

(AB) Amusement ride and device owners/operators are required to operate each ride or device in accordance with these regulations, adopted codes and any applicable all manufacturers’ recommendations as applicable.

(BC) Consideration shall be given to environmental factors, including humidity, precipitation, temperature and wind effects on patron safety, where applicable.

(CD) Operators shall have a reasonable written plan in place for the management of emergencies, including, but not limited to the following, where applicable:

(1) Prevention strategies;

(2) Emergency preparedness;

(3) Administrative response to emergencies;

(4) Field response to medical emergencies;

(5) Field response to incidents/accidents and fatalities;

(6) Technical rescues;

(7) Activating the emergency medical system;

(8) Evacuations; and

(9) Addressing severe weather.

2-5-2 Zip Lines Aerial Adventure Courses

(A) Operators of aerial adventure courses shall follow the general requirements listed below:

(1) Verify any connection between the patron and the device are properly made.

(2) Document these requirements in the operator’s manual.

(AB) Additionally, For zip line operations, the operator shall:

(1) Have a full understanding of and proficiency in the setup, operation and ongoing monitoring requirements of the braking system in effect when operating zip lines.

(2) Ensure that the departure of patrons from dispatch zones is performed in a controlled manner and only when the zip line is clear of other persons.

(3) Ensure that the deceleration and arrest of patrons arriving at landing zones is performed in a controlled manner.

(4) Ensure that padding used as a protective element in the landing area is not used as a brake component.

(C) Additionally, for free fall device operations, the operator shall:

(1) Utilize a secondary attachment approved by the manufacturer.

ARTICLE 3 RECORDS

Section 3-1 Records Requirements

(A) Every amusement ride or device operator shall maintain detailed records relating to the construction, repair and maintenance of its operation, including safety, inspection, maintenance records and ride operator training activities.

(B) Records shall be made available to the Division at reasonable times, including during an inspection upon the Division’s request.

(C) Records of daily inspections must be available for inspection at the location where the ride or device is operated.

(D) All records must be maintained for a period of three years.

ARTICLE 3 INSPECTOR CERTIFICATION

Section 3-1 General Requirements

(A) This section describes the requirements for the annual Inspector Certification.

(B) The Division may request documentation in addition to that described in the following sections to verify the accuracy of information provided with a Certification application.

(C) The inspector shall not be affiliated by employment or by a subsidiary relationship to the owner/operator or the manufacturer of the amusement ride or device.

(D) To qualify as a professional engineer, applicants must provide a professional engineering license and proof of at least 12 months of experience working in the amusement industry.

Section 32 Certification Types

(A) The Division may certify an applicant if the applicant has satisfied Certification requirements listed in Sections 3-1 through 3-3. The Inspector Certification will indicate the type of rides and devices for which the Certification is allowed to inspect per these regulations. The types of rides and devices inspection endorsements are as follows.

(1) Type 1: Traditional Amusement Rides and Devices, that are typically found at carnivals and amusement parks which would include but not be limited to roller coasters, Ferris wheels and bumper cars, and that are not of the types listed in (A)(2) through (3) of this section.

(2) Type 2: Aerial Adventure Courses (Free Fall Devices, Ropes Courses and Zip Lines).

(3) Type 3: Indoor Trampoline Parks.

(4) Type 4: Water Slides.

(5) Type 5: Special devices. Any specialty devices not listed above (i.e., trackless trains).

(B) A person applying for an Inspector Certification shall submit to the Division a completed Inspector Certification application using the form that is provided on the Division’s website.

Section 3-3 Certification Qualifications

(A) Qualifications for licensing are as follows:

(1) Type 1 Inspector Certification qualification shall consist of certification through one of the following:

(a) NAARSO Level 2; or

(b) AIMS Maintenance or Inspector Level 2; or

(c) The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture – General Qualified Inspector; or

(d) Qualify as a professional engineer per Section 3-1 (D); or

(e) Another nationally recognized organization approved by the Division; or

(f) Experience evaluated and approved by the Division

(2) Type 2 Inspector Certification qualification shall consist of certification through one of the following:

(a) NAARSO Level 2; or

(b) AIMS Maintenance or Inspector Level 2; or

(c) ACCT Level 2 Professional Inspector; or

(d) Qualify as a professional engineer per Section 3-1 (D); or

(e) Another nationally recognized organization approved by the Division; or

(f) Experience evaluated and approved by the Division

(3) Type 3 Inspector Certification qualification shall consist of certification through one of the following:

(a) NAARSO Level 2; or

(b) AIMS Maintenance or Inspector Level 2; or

(c) IATP Service Technician Level 2; or

(d) Qualify as a professional engineer per Section 3-1 (D); or

(e) Another nationally recognized organization approved by the Division; or

(f) Experience evaluated and approved by the Division

(4) Type 4 Inspector Certification qualification shall consist of certification through one of the following:

(a) Those listed in Section 4-2 (A)(1) (Type 1); or

(b) CIRSA certification

(c) AIMS Aquatics Operations Level I

(5) Type 5 Inspector Certification qualification shall consist of certification that complies with (A)(1) of this section.

(B) The Division reserves the right to review an applicant or inspector’s experience and certification status at any time to ensure that the applicant or inspector:

(1) Demonstrates sufficient general knowledge of amusement rides to effectively inspect, evaluate, and identify issues with rides that could or will have an impact on public safety;

(2) Is fully versed in and able to apply Colorado-specific rules and regulations, and

(3) Is able to communicate that information to the amusement ride owners/operators for whom the inspection is being carried out.

Section 3-4 Inspector Certification and Renewal

(A) Inspector Certifications will expire annually on April 15.

(B) The Inspector Certification issued by the Division shall be valid for up to one year. The Division may issue or renew an Inspector Certification, provided the applicant submits the following:

(1) A completed inspector certification application form.

(2) Documentation that the applicant is currently certified as listed in Section 3-2 (A) of this section.

Section 3-5 Revocation, Suspension, or Denial of Inspector Certification

(A) A certification may be denied, suspended, or revoked by the Division because of, but not limited to the following:

(1) Failure to show sufficient proof of required credentials or experience with amusement ride or device inspections;

(2) Non-compliance with an order issued by the Division within the time specified in such order;

(3) Failure to comply with these regulations;

(4) Giving false information or a misrepresentation to the Division in order to obtain or maintain a certification;

(5) Making a false affidavit or statement under oath to the Division in an application or report; or

(6) Other factors which, at the discretion of the Division, indicate an unfitness to hold an inspector certification in compliance with these regulations.

(B) The Division shall deny, suspend, or revoke an inspector certification according to the process described in Article 6 of these regulations.

(C) Upon notice of the revocation or suspension of any permit, the former inspector shall immediately surrender to the Division the certification and all copies thereof.

(D) Any person whose certification has been denied or suspended under Section 3-5 may apply to the Division for a hearing in order to seek relief.

(1) The hearing shall be conducted by the Division or an Administrative Law Judge with the Division of Administrative Hearings on behalf of the Division in accordance with the procedures of 24-4-105 C.R.S.

(2) The Division may grant the relief requested in the hearing if the Division determines that the circumstances regarding the denial, suspension, or revocation, and the applicant’s record and reputation are such that the granting of such relief is not contrary to public safety.

(E) Any person aggrieved by a decision or order of the Division may seek judicial review pursuant to the provisions of 24-4-106 C.R.S.

(F) The period of denial, suspension, or revocation shall be within the sound discretion of the Division.

(G) Any person who has been denied a certification may not reapply to the Division for a certification within one year of the decision, unless exception is made by the Division and the applicant establishes a substantial change in circumstances to indicate fitness to hold an inspector certification in accordance with the requirements of these regulations.

(H) In case of revocation or suspension of an inspector certification, the Division shall notify all certifying associations that have issued said inspector any certifications used for the approval by the Division of such revocation or suspension.

ARTICLE 4 INJURY REPORTING

Section 4-1 Reportable Injury

(A) State of Colorado regulations require that amusement ride and device operators notify the Division of any reportable injury.

(B) A reportable injury is any injury (as defined) caused by a malfunction or failure of an amusement ride or device, or any injury (as defined) caused by an operator or patron error which impairs the function of an amusement ride or device.

(C) A reportable injury as defined must be reported to the Division by:

(1) Calling calling 303-514-3281 or 303-809-9354 within 24 hours of the time that the ride operator or operator becomes aware of the injury; and

(2) Submitting an injury report to the Division within 72 hours of the time that the ride operator or operator becomes aware of the injury

(D) Complete injury reports should be emailed to cdle_amusements@state.co.us or faxed to 303-318-8488.Injury reports shall be maintained and made available to the Division for investigation. Copies must be submitted upon request from the Division.

Section 4-2 Reportable Injury Scene Preservation

If a reportable injury occurs, the equipment or conditions that caused the accident shall be preserved for the purpose of an investigation by the Division unless an investigation is deemed unnecessary by the Division.

ARTICLE 5 PATRON RESPONSIBILITY

Patrons are required to follow any written or verbal instructions that are given to them regarding the use of amusement rides and devices.

ARTICLE 6 ENFORCEMENT

Section 6-1 Enforcement Program

The Division provides these regulations to assist operators and inspectors with safe and proper operation of amusement rides and devices. The Division may inspect the premises and operation of the amusement ride or device to insure that the financial and safety standards in this regulation have been met. When an amusement ride or device is found to be out of compliance with these regulations, the Division will pursue enforcement actions against the operator or inspector who is in violation of these regulations and/or statutes (8-20 C.R.S.).

The enforcement process will include requiring the operator or inspector to make repairs and/or upgrades, perform system tests, provide records and complete other actions to bring the amusement ride or device back into compliance. During and following the enforcement process, the Division will continue to assist the operator or inspector to remain in compliance. The enforcement process may include monetary penalties of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation per day according to statute (CRS §8-20-104 C.R.S.) if the enforcement obligations are not implemented according to the required schedule.

6-1-1 Notice of Violation

(A) A notice of violation (NOV) may be issued to an operator or inspector when an amusement ride or device is found to be out of compliance with these regulations and/or statutes (C.R.S. §8-20) or the inspector has failed to comply with these regulations and/or statutes. The notice of violation may include fines and/or an order to cease and desist operation of the specific amusement ride or device until all violations are satisfactorily corrected.

A notice of violation (NOV) may be issued to an inspector when the inspector has failed to comply with these regulations and/or statutes. The notice of violation may include fines and/or a suspension of the inspector’s certification.

(B) Within ten working days after an NOV has been issued, the person issued the NOV may file a written request with the Division for an informal conference regarding the NOV. Upon receipt of the request, the Division shall provide the alleged violator with notice of the date, time and place of the informal conference. During the conference, the alleged violator and Division personnel may present information and arguments regarding the allegations and requirements of the NOV. If the person issued the NOV does not request an informal conference within this time frame, all provisions of the NOV shall become final and not subject to further discussion. If the NOV is not resolved within the prescribed time frame, the Division may then seek judicial enforcement of the NOV, or an enforcement order may be issued.

(C) Within 20 days after the informal conference, the Division shall uphold, modify, or strike the allegations within the NOV in the form of a settlement agreement or an enforcement order.

(D) If the alleged violator fails to timely request an informal conference, the terms of the NOV become a binding enforcement order not subject to further review.

6-1-2 Enforcement Order

(A) An enforcement order may be issued when the violations included within an NOV are not resolved within the prescribed time frame or when the schedule set forth in a settlement agreement is not met. The enforcement order may include increased fines of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation for each day of violation. In addition, the enforcement order may include shut-down of the amusement ride or device.

(B) Within ten working days after an enforcement order has been issued, the operator may file a written request with the Executive Director for an informal conference regarding the enforcement order. If the operator does not request an informal conference within this time frame, all provisions of the enforcement order shall become final and not subject to further discussion. If the enforcement order is not resolved within the prescribed time frame, the Division may then seek judicial enforcement of the enforcement order. An enforcement order may include increased fines of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation for each day of violation. In addition, the enforcement order may include shut-down of the amusement ride or device and/or suspension or revocation of the permit or inspector certification.

(C) An alleged violator may appeal the enforcement order to the Division for a hearing under 24-4-105 C.R.S. The Division shall then issue a final decision which is subject to judicial review under 24-4-106 C.R.S.

6-1-3 Informal Conference

(A) Upon receipt of the request, the Division shall provide the operator with notice of the date, time and place of the informal conference. The Division shall preside at the informal conference, during which the operator and Division personnel may present information and arguments regarding the allegations and requirements of the NOV or the enforcement order.

(B) Within twenty days after the informal conference, the Division shall issue a settlement agreement in which the violations from the NOV and/or enforcement order will be upheld, modified or stricken. The settlement agreement will include a schedule of required activity for resolution of the violations. If the terms and/or schedule in the settlement agreement are not satisfied, an enforcement order will be issued, re-issued or the Division may seek judicial enforcement.

6-1-3 Procedure on Revocation, Suspension, or Denial of Inspector Certification

(A) In any case where the Division denies a permit or the permittee is subject to suspension or revocation for a violation of Section 3-3 of these regulations, the Division shall notify the applicant or permittee in writing by first-class mail of the grounds for denial for the violation. The notice shall state that the applicant or permittee may request a hearing in accordance with 24-4-104 and 24-4-105 C.R.S.

(B) Upon notice of the revocation or suspension of any permit, the former permittee shall immediately surrender to the Division the permit and all copies thereof. In addition, the former permittee must surrender control of all explosive material in his/her possession to the Division or the law enforcement agency designated by the Division, or in the presence of the Division or the law enforcement agency designated by the Division surrender control of all explosive material in his/her possession to a valid Type II permittee until a final determination on the charges is made.

(C) The period of denial, suspension, or revocation shall be within the sound discretion of the Division.

(D) The Division may summarily suspend a permit if the Division has objective and reasonable grounds to believe that the public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action. In such case, the Division shall notify the permittee in writing by first-class mail of the grounds for summary suspension and shall state that the permittee may request a hearing in accordance with 24-4-105 C.R.S.

Do Something

You have two options:

  1. Roll over and take it.
  2. Get Involved. If you don’t speak up the regulatory bodies will win and that means you are out of business.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2018 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

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By Recreation Law    Rec-law@recreation-law.com    James H. Moss

#AdventureTourism, #AdventureTravelLaw, #AdventureTravelLawyer, #AttorneyatLaw, #Backpacking, #BicyclingLaw, #Camps, #ChallengeCourse, #ChallengeCourseLaw, #ChallengeCourseLawyer, #CyclingLaw, #FitnessLaw, #FitnessLawyer, #Hiking, #HumanPowered, #HumanPoweredRecreation, #IceClimbing, #JamesHMoss, #JimMoss, #Law, #Mountaineering, #Negligence, #OutdoorLaw, #OutdoorRecreationLaw, #OutsideLaw, #OutsideLawyer, #RecLaw, #Rec-Law, #RecLawBlog, #Rec-LawBlog, #RecLawyer, #RecreationalLawyer, #RecreationLaw, #RecreationLawBlog, #RecreationLawcom, #Recreation-Lawcom, #Recreation-Law.com, #RiskManagement, #RockClimbing, #RockClimbingLawyer, #RopesCourse, #RopesCourseLawyer, #SkiAreas, #Skiing, #SkiLaw, #Snowboarding, #SummerCamp, #Tourism, #TravelLaw, #YouthCamps, #ZipLineLawyer, Trampoline Parks, Ropes Courses, Climbing Walls, Playground Equipment, Climbers, Fitness Devices, Exercise Equipment, Paddle Boats, #TrampolineParks, #RopesCourses, #ClimbingWalls, #PlaygroundEquipment, #Climbers, #FitnessDevices, #ExerciseEquipment, #PaddleBoats



Ever Wonder what an EMT is Legally allowed to do versus a EMT-IV or Paramedic?

Well Colorado created a great chart so you can understand it.

 

 

 

You can download your own copy of this chart here!

 

 

 

 

 

 


There may be a new dawn in river and stream access in Colorado or access may forever disappear.

In the west, Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.

When I moved to Colorado several decades ago, the biggest shock, I received was learning or attempting to understand Colorado’s water laws. In the Midwest, where I’m from, water was a problem: we worked to get rid of. My property law professor was an expert in field pipes. Water Pipes were pipes put into the ground by the federal government to help drain water from the fields. Any issues were over ownership, control and maintenance of the pipes, not the water that came out of them.

Colorado Water Laws were developed when the only use of water was for drinking, (when no whiskey was around), irrigating crops and mining. Until the last decade, use of water for any other purpose was not only a civil issue subjecting you to a suit for the loss of the water, but possible criminal action for theft.

In 1979 the Colorado Supreme Court Decision People v. Emmert, 198 Colo. 137; 597 P.2d 1025; 1979 Colo. LEXIS 814; 6 A.L.R.4th 1016 was decided, which allowed people to float on the surface, but not touch the sides or the banks of a river. That decision created an uneasiness that has survived, mostly allowing whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing in many areas.

Even so, many landowners disagreed with the decision. That disagreement was based on owning both sides of the land or “touching” the bottom of the river. Landowners would build dams so that a kayaker had no choice but to “touch” the bottom to get around the dam. When you saw a dam, you usually saw a sheriff’s deputy at the takeout ready to issue you a ticket.

If a landowner owned both sides of the river another trick, you would see is fencing strung across the river, sometimes with railroad ties attached to prevent boaters from paddling down the river. Most boaters called them death traps because getting caught in one could kill a kayaker.

However, the worst was paddling down the river and hearing shots or looking to the bank and see someone pointing a gun at you. At least once a year I would receive a call from a kayaker who had been threatened at the end of a gun for floating on a river or creek. Generally, there was nothing you could do. The district attorneys did not like prosecuting paddlers for trespass, (after a lot of phone calls form a lot of CO attorneys). At the same time, it was more difficult for them to prosecute a voter for “defending” their property.

The city of Golden took a bold step and was able to convince the Colorado Supreme Court that water had a recreation purpose. That allowed Golden and a dozen other cities to put in kayak parks. Until that decision, the park could be built, but there might not be any water in the park to float a boat.

However, in the rule areas, fencing and guns still ruled. However, this may be coming to a head. In an article published February 3, Who owns the bottom of the river? Lawsuit pitting fisherman against landowner on the Arkansas River could answer the question
a fisherman has taken the issue to court. The article exams a lawsuit filed by a fisherman against a landowner. Read the article to get the facts straight, but generally the fisherman was tired of having rocks thrown at him and threatened by a gun when he enters the river at a public location, a river put in and walks downstream fishing.

The landowner may not own the water, but he owns the bottom of the river, or so he claims. (The landowner was prosecuted for shooting at the fisherman!)

The Utah Supreme Court looked at this same issue several years ago and concluded the state owned the bottom of the river. Utah Stream Access Coalition, v. Orange Street Development, 2017 UT 82; 852 Utah Adv. Rep. 69; 2017 Utah LEXIS 200. However, the legislature then passed a law overturning the decision. See Recreational Use of Public Water on Private Property. You can’t fish on a stream in Utah, but Utah believes you should be able to mine our National Parks and Monuments.

How will the Federal District Court, where this case has been filed, rule? I have no idea; I’m not a court watcher. I want them to rule that standing on a river bottom is not a reason to get shot. I want them to rule that putting your hands down to get over a manmade dam is not a reason to be arrested for trespass. I want them to rule that it is 2018 and tourism is the larger employer, largest generator of jobs and the basis for Colorado’s economy and shooting tourists and locals should not be allowed because they can’t walk on the water.

Go here to read the complaint filed in this case: Complaint

Do Something

Keep your finger’s crossed, not much else we can do except watch and wait for the decision.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2017 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

     

If you are interested in having me write your release, fill out this Information Form and Contract and send it to me.

Author: Outdoor Recreation Insurance, Risk Management and Law

To Purchase Go Here:

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Email: Rec-law@recreation-law.com

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© 2018 Recreation Law    Rec-law@recreation-law.com    James H. Moss

#AdventureTourism, #AdventureTravelLaw, #AdventureTravelLawyer, #AttorneyatLaw, #Backpacking, #BicyclingLaw, #Camps, #ChallengeCourse, #ChallengeCourseLaw, #ChallengeCourseLawyer, #CyclingLaw, #FitnessLaw, #FitnessLawyer, #Hiking, #HumanPowered, #HumanPoweredRecreation, #IceClimbing, #JamesHMoss, #JimMoss, #Law, #Mountaineering, #Negligence, #OutdoorLaw, #OutdoorRecreationLaw, #OutsideLaw, #OutsideLawyer, #RecLaw, #Rec-Law, #RecLawBlog, #Rec-LawBlog, #RecLawyer, #RecreationalLawyer, #RecreationLaw, #RecreationLawBlog, #RecreationLawcom, #Recreation-Lawcom, #Recreation-Law.com, #RiskManagement, #RockClimbing, #RockClimbingLawyer, #RopesCourse, #RopesCourseLawyer, #SkiAreas, #Skiing, #SkiLaw, #Snowboarding, #SummerCamp, #Tourism, #TravelLaw, #YouthCamps, #ZipLineLawyer,


A parked snowmobile is an inherent risk of skiing for which all skiers assume the risk under Colorado Ski Area Safety Act.

A Steamboat ski area employee parked a snowmobile at the bottom of a run. The plaintiff came down the run and hit the snowmobile injuring herself. She claimed the snowmobile was not visible from 100′ and was in violation of the Colorado Skier Safety Act. The Federal District Court for Colorado Disagreed.

Schlumbrecht-Muniz v. Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30484

State: Colorado, United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Plaintiff: Linda Schlumbrecht-Muniz, M.D.

Defendant: Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, a Delaware Corporation d/b/a STEAMBOAT

Plaintiff Claims: negligence, negligence per se, and respondeat superior

Defendant Defenses: Colorado Skier Safety Act

Holding: for the Defendant

Year: 2015

The plaintiff was skiing down a run at Steamboat Ski Area. (Steamboat is owned by Intrawest Resorts, Inc.) On that day, an employee of Steamboat parked a snowmobile at the bottom of that run. The snowmobile was not visible for 100′. The plaintiff collided with the vehicle incurring injury.

The plaintiff sued claiming simple negligence, negligence per se and respondeat superior. The Negligence per se claim was based on an alleged failure of the ski area to follow the Colorado Skier Safety Act.

The ski area filed a motion for summary judgment arguing the claims of the plaintiff failed to plead the information needed to allege a violation of the Colorado Skier Safety Act.

Analysis: making sense of the law based on these facts.

The court first looked at the requirements necessary to properly plead a claim.

“…the mere metaphysical possibility that some plaintiff could prove some set of facts in support of the pleaded claims is insufficient; the complaint must give the court reason to believe that this plaintiff has a reasonable likelihood of mustering factual support for these claims.” The ultimate duty of the court is to “determine whether the complaint sufficiently alleges facts supporting all the elements necessary to establish an entitlement to relief under the legal theory proposed.”

This analysis requires the plaintiff to plead facts sufficient to prove her claims to some certainty that the court can see without a major stretch of the imagination.

The ordinary negligence claims were the first to be reviewed and dismissed. The Colorado Skier Safety Act states that the defendant ski area is “immune from any claim for damages resulting from “…the inherent dangers and risks of skiing…

Notwithstanding any judicial decision or any other law or statute, to the contrary, … no skier may make any claim against or recover from any ski area operator for injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing.

Although the law allows suits against ski areas for violation of the act, those claims must be plead specifically and fit into the requirements set forth in the act. As such the court found the defendant Steamboat could be liable if:

Accordingly, Steamboat may be liable under one of two theories: a skier may recover if her injury resulted from an occurrence not considered an inherent danger or risk of skiing; or a skier may recover if the ski operator violated a provision of the Act and that violation resulted in injury.

The first claim of an injury that was not an inherent risk of skiing would hold the defendant ski area liable for a negligence claim. The second requires specific violation of the Colorado Skier Safety Act.

Steamboat argued that pursuant to the Colorado Skier Safety Act, the term inherent risks as defined in the act were to be read broadly and a parked snowmobile was an inherent risk of skiing.

The Ski Safety Act defines “inherent dangers and risks of skiing” to mean:

…those dangers or conditions that are part of the sport of skiing, including changing weather conditions; snow conditions as they exist or may change, such as ice, hard pack, powder, packed powder, wind pack, corn, crust, slush, cut-up snow, and machine-made snow; surface or subsurface conditions such as bare spots, forest growth, rocks, stumps, streambeds, cliffs, extreme terrain, and trees, or other natural objects, and collisions with such natural objects; impact with lift towers, signs, posts, fences or enclosures, hydrants, water pipes, or other man-made structures and their components; variations in steepness or terrain, whether natural or as a result of slope design, snowmaking or grooming operations, including but not limited to roads, freestyle terrain, jumps, and catwalks or other terrain modifications; collisions with other skiers; and the failure of skiers to ski within their own abilities.

The court then looked at decisions interpreting the inherent risk section to determine if the act was to be construed narrowly or broadly.

In all cases, Colorado courts looked at the act as a list of the possible risks of skiing but not all the possible risks. As such, a snowmobile parked at the bottom of the slope was an inherent risk of skiing.

I am also persuaded that the presence of a parked snow mobile at the end of a ski run is an inherent risk of the sport of skiing. While Steamboat cites Fleury for that court’s description of the “common understanding of a ‘danger,'” and analogizes the presence of a snowmobile to cornices, avalanches, and rubber deceleration mats for tubing, I find that a parked snowmobile is not analogous to those examples because a snowmobile is not part of the on-course terrain of the sport.

The court also found that even if the snowmobile parked on a run was not an inherent risk, the statute required skiers to stay away from vehicles and equipment on the slopes. “Each skier shall stay clear of snow-grooming equipment, all vehicles, lift towers, signs, and any other equipment on the ski slopes and trails.”

The plaintiff’s argument was the violation of the statute was failing to properly for failing to properly outfit the snowmobile.

Plaintiff clarifies in her Response that the negligence per se claim is for violation of section 33-44-108(3), which requires snowmobiles operated “on the ski slopes or trails of a ski area” to be equipped with “[o]ne lighted headlamp, one lighted red tail lamp, a brake system maintained in operable condition, and a fluorescent flag at least forty square inches mounted at least six feet above the bottom of the tracks.”

Plaintiff also argued the statute was violated because the snowmobile was not visible for 100′ as required by the statute. However, this put the plaintiff in a catch 22. If the plaintiff was not a vehicle, then it was a man-made object which was an inherent risk of skiing. If she pleads the snowmobile was a vehicle and not properly equipped, then she failed to stay away from it.

Neither approach leads Plaintiff to her desired result. Steamboat correctly asserts that if the snow-mobile is characterized as a man-made object, Plaintiff’s impact with it was an inherent danger and risk pursuant to section, and Steamboat is immune to liability for the resulting injuries. If Plaintiff intends for her Claim to proceed under the theory that Steamboat violated section 33-44-108(3) by failing to equip the snowmobile with the proper lighting, she did not plead that the parked vehicle lacked the required items, and mentions only in passing in her Response that the vehicle “did not have an illuminated head lamp or trail lamp because it was not operating.”

The final claim was based on respondeat superior.

Plaintiff has alleged that the Steamboat employee was acting within the scope of her employment when she parked the snowmobile at the base of Bashor Bowl. See id. (“Under the theory of respondeat superior, the question of whether an employee is acting within the scope of the employment is a question of fact”)

Because the respondeat claim was derivative of the prior claims, and they were dismissed, the respondeat superior claim must fail. Derivative means that the second claim is wholly based on the first claim. If the first claim fails, the second claim fails.

So Now What?

This is another decision in a long line of decisions expanding the risks a skier assumes on Colorado slopes. The inherent risks set forth in Colorado Skier Safety Act are examples of the possible risks a skier can assume, not the specific set of risks.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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This decision is either normal, or ground breaking. The release info is nothing new. However, the court found the language on the back of the lift ticket created a release which barred the plaintiff’s claims.

11th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds lower decision dismissing claims of a plaintiff who broke her femur unloading a lift during a ski lesson.

Lower Court decision was based on Colorado Premises Liability Act. This decision was based on the release the plaintiff signed to take the ski lesson.

For an analysis of the lower court decision see: Question answered; Colorado Premises Liability Act supersedes Colorado Ski Area Safety act. Standard of care owed skiers on chairlift’s reasonable man standard?

Brigance, v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 397

State: Colorado: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Plaintiff: Teresa Brigance

Defendant: Vail Summit Resorts, Inc. (Keystone Ski Area)

Plaintiff Claims: (1) negligence, (2) negligence per se, (3) negligent supervision and training, (4) negligence (respondeat superior), (5) negligent hiring, and (6) violation of the Colorado Premises Liability Act (the “PLA”), Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-115

Defendant Defenses: Release and the lift ticket

Holding: For the Defendant Ski Area, Vail

Year: 2018

This case looks at the law concerning releases in Colorado. Writing a release requires three skills. The first is an understanding of the law that will be applied to the release in question. The second is an understanding of the activity, and the risks associated with the activity the release must cover. The third is what do judges want to see in the release and what they don’t want to see.

The first and third items are what I specialize in. The second item is what we have to specialize in. Writing a release is not handing a contract job to an attorney. It is understanding how you want to run your business, the guests you want to serve and the types of problems you want to prevent from turning into litigation.

If you need a release for your business, activity or program consider working with me to design one. You also have the option of purchasing a pre-written release based upon the needs of your business, type of activity and the state where you are located.

To help you understand release law, here is an article about how a release was written correctly and then used to stop a claim.

Summary

This decision does not stand out among decisions concerning release law in Colorado. However, it is an extreme change from Colorado law and the law of most other states when it states the backside of a lift ticket is a release. The lower court decision was analyzed in Question answered; Colorado Premises Liability Act supersedes Colorado Ski Area Safety act. Standard of care owed skiers on chairlift’s reasonable man standard?

The plaintiff was taking a ski lesson when she fell getting off the lift. She sued for the normal negligent issues. The court throughout her claims based upon the release she signed to take the ski lesson.

Facts

The plaintiff signed up to take a ski lesson with Keystone Resorts, a ski area owned by the defendant Vail Summit Resorts, Inc. and ultimately by Vail Resorts Management Company. (There may be some more corporations or LLC’s in the middle.) When she signed up for the lesson, she signed a release which is a common practice at ski areas.

When she was unloading a lift, the edge of the chair caught the top of her ski boot, and she fell eventually breaking her femur.

She sued. Her case was thrown out by the trial court. See Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31662 analyzed in Question answered; Colorado Premises Liability Act supersedes Colorado Ski Area Safety act. Standard of care owed skiers on chairlift’s reasonable man standard?

On a side note. One of her claims was the lift did not stop immediately. One defense I never see to this claim; lifts don’t stop immediately. If the lift stopped immediately, everyone riding the lift would be thrown off. Lift’s decelerate at a speed that allows the lift to stop as quickly as possible without ejecting everyone riding on the lift. If nothing else it is a save everyone else on the lift and sacrifice the person who can’t unload.

Analysis: making sense of the law based upon these facts.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is a federal court. The plaintiff filed this case in federal court because she was from Florida. Vail and the locations of the accident are in Colorado. That allowed her to have federal jurisdiction in the case because the plaintiff and the defendant were from two different states.

When a federal court has a case like this, it applies the law of the state that has jurisdiction as if the case were not in federal court. In this case, the decision looks at Colorado law as it applies to ski areas and releases. There is no Federal law concerning ski areas, other than general laws on leasing Forest Service land for a ski area.

The court started its analysis by reviewing the release and Colorado law on releases.

Colorado has a tag it applies to releases; like a few other states, that releases are disfavored under Colorado law. However, disfavored a release may be; that statement seems to be something to provide the plaintiff with an idea of fairness rather than the reality that if you write your release correctly, it will be upheld in Colorado.

For a decision that was lost because the defendant did not write the release correctly see Colorado Appellate Court rules that fine print and confusing language found on most health clubs (and some climbing wall) releases is void because of the Colorado Premises Liability Act.

There are four tests a release must pass to be valid in Colorado.

(1) the existence of a duty to the public; (2) the nature of the service performed; (3) whether the contract was fairly entered into; and (4) whether the intention of the parties is expressed in clear and unambiguous language.

The court found plenty of Colorado law stating that a recreation service or activity does not owe a duty to the public and is not a service that should be questioned, which covers the first two requirements. The release was well-written, and the plaintiff did not argue that the release was not entered into fairly. Consequently, the court was able to state the release was valid the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the release.

One argument of the plaintiff’s the court did spend some time on was the Ski Area Safety Statute and the Passenger Tramway Safety Act created a public duty. Thus, the nature of the relationship between the ski area and a guest was one not of recreation but of a public duty, therefore, the release was not valid. This argument was an attempt to void the release based on the first two requirements set out above.

However, the court found that the creation of both statutes was done so that releases were not voided for skiing in Colorado. Looking at Colorado law the court found:

Our conclusion that the SSA and PTSA do not bar exculpatory agreements is supported by the Colorado Supreme Court’s regular enforcement of exculpatory agreements involving recreational activities, particularly in the context of equine activities, as well as the General Assembly’s relatively recent pronouncements regarding the public policy considerations involved in a parent’s ability to execute exculpatory agreements on behalf of its child with respect to prospective negligence claims.

The court found all four requirements for a release to be valid in Colorado were met.

What was exciting about this case wad the Court found the lift ticket was a release.

What is of note about this case is the Appellate Court like the lower court, looked at the language on the back side of the lift ticket as a release. The court starts by calling the language a “Lift Ticket Waiver.”

The Lift Ticket Waiver–approximately two paragraphs in length–is not as detailed as the Ski School Waiver, but contains somewhat similar language regarding the ticket holder’s assumption of risk and waiver of claims. After detailing some of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing that the holder of the ticket assumes, as well as identifying other risks and responsibilities, the Lift Ticket Waiver provides that the “Holder agrees to ASSUME ALL RISKS, inherent or otherwise” and “to hold the ski area harmless for claims to person and property.”

Emphasize added

No other court in Colorado has ever looked at the language on the back of the lift ticket as being a release. That language is there because it is required by statute. Colorado Ski Safety Act C.R.S. §§ 33-44-107. Duties of ski area operators – signs and notices required for skiers’ information. (8) states:

(8) (a) Each ski area operator shall post and maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified in paragraph (c) of this subsection (8). Such signs shall be placed in a clearly visible location at the ski area where the lift tickets and ski school lessons are sold and in such a position to be recognizable as a sign to skiers proceeding to the uphill loading point of each base area lift. Each sign shall be no smaller than three feet by three feet. Each sign shall be white with black and red letters as specified in this paragraph (a). The words “WARNING” shall appear on the sign in red letters. The warning notice specified in paragraph (c) of this subsection (8) shall appear on the sign in black letters, with each letter to be a minimum of one inch in height.

(b) Every ski lift ticket sold or made available for sale to skiers by any ski area operator shall contain in clearly readable print the warning notice specified in paragraph (c) of this subsection (8).

(c) The signs described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (8) and the lift tickets described in paragraph (b) of this subsection (8) shall contain the following warning notice:

WARNING

Under Colorado law, a skier assumes the risk of any injury to person or property resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing and may not recover from any ski area operator for any injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing, including: Changing weather conditions; existing and changing snow conditions; bare spots; rocks; stumps; trees; collisions with natural objects, man-made objects, or other skiers; variations in terrain; and the failure of skiers to ski within their own abilities.

    Emphasize added

The court specifically stated the language highlighted above in yellow contains “waiver of claims.” Based on the statute and the language, this is solely a list of the risks a skier assumes by statute when skiing inbounds in Colorado. However, now this court has found more in the text.

For more on lift tickets baring claims see Lift tickets are not contracts and rarely work as a release in most states. The reason most courts find that the language on the back of a lift ticket is not a release is there is no meeting of the minds, no one points out to the purchaser of a lift ticket there is a contract they are agreeing to.

In this case that would be impossible because the case states the husband purchased the lift ticket so the plaintiff could not have agreed to the contract.

In addition, Dr. Brigance’s husband purchased a lift ticket enabling her to ride the ski lifts at Key-stone. Dr. Brigance received the ticket from her husband and used it to ride the Discovery Lift. The lift ticket contained a warning and liability waiver (the “Lift Ticket Waiver”) on its back side, which provides in pertinent part:

Emphasize added

As stated above, the court notes that the husband and not the plaintiff purchased the lift tickets. No contract could be created in this case, yet somehow; the court found the lift ticket was a contract and as such was a release of liability. There was no meeting of the minds and there was no consideration passing between the plaintiff and the ski area.

However, this has monstrous meaning to all other ski areas in Colorado. If the language required by statute to be placed on the back of lift tickets is also a release of liability, then a new defense is available to all injuries of any skier, boarder, tuber or other person on the ski area who purchases a lift ticket.

More importantly you could require everyone coming on to the ski area to purchase a lift ticket no matter the reason. The cost could only be one dollar, but the savings to the ski area would be immense. If you are skiing you lift ticket is $200. If you are just going to dinner or watching your kids ski the lift ticket is $1.00 and gives you a $1.00 discount on your first drink.

Everyone who has a lift ticket at a ski area has effectively signed a release now.

However, remember, this is a federal court interpreting state law, the law of Colorado. Until the Colorado Courts weight in on the subject and the Colorado Supreme Court decides the issue, its value may be suspect. It is reliable in Federal Court as this condition is precedent setting, however, I would lean hard on the decision, not stand on it.

The court concluded, and in doing so provided a better idea about how Colorado looks are releases, that:

In summary, Colorado’s “relatively permissive public policy toward recreational releases” is one “that, no doubt, means some losses go uncompensated.” And the Colorado Supreme Court and General Assembly may someday “prefer a policy that shifts the burden of loss to the service provider, ensuring compensation in cases like this.” Id. But “that decision is their decision to make, not ours, and their current policy is clear.” Id. As a result, for the reasons stated above, we conclude the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver are enforceable and accordingly bar Dr. Brigance’s claims.

So Now What?

Overall, the case has nothing new on release law and is another affirmation that releases in Colorado, if written correctly, will stop claims for negligence.

However, if the Colorado courts follow the reasoning contained in this decision about the validity of the language on the back of a lift ticket as a bar to claims, then this is the first step in making almost impossible to sue a ski area in Colorado for any reason.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2017 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

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Brigance, v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 397

Brigance, v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 397

Teresa Brigance, Plaintiff – Appellant, v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., Defendant – Appellee.

No. 17-1035

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 397

January 8, 2018, Filed

PRIOR HISTORY: [*1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. (D.C. No. 1:15-CV-01394-WJM-NYW).

Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447 (D. Colo., Jan. 13, 2017)

CASE SUMMARY:

OVERVIEW: HOLDINGS: [1]-In an action brought by an injured skier, an examination of each of the Jones v. Dressel factors for determining the enforceability of an exculpatory agreement led to the conclusion that none of them precluded enforcement of a Ski School Waiver or Lift Ticket Waiver. The factors included the existence of a duty to the public, the nature of the service performed, whether the contract was fairly entered into, and whether the intention of the parties was expressed in clear and unambiguous language; [2]-The district court properly determined that the provisions of the Colorado Ski Safety Act of 1979 and the Passenger Tramway Safety Act had no effect on the enforceability of defendant ski resort’s waivers. Colorado law had long permitted parties to contract away negligence claims in the recreational context; [3]-The skier’s claims were barred by the waivers.

OUTCOME: The court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the ski resort and the partial grant of the resort’s motion to dismiss.

CORE TERMS: ski, exculpatory, skiing, lift ticket, recreational, lesson, lift, ski area, practical necessity, recreational activities, public policies, bargaining, skier, inherent dangers, unenforceable, service provided, essential service, inherent risks, discovery, holder, signer, summary judgment, riding, equine, common law, ski lifts, negligence per se, quotation marks omitted, practically, harmless

COUNSEL: Trenton J. Ongert (Joseph D. Bloch with him on the briefs), Bloch & Chapleau, LLC, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff – Appellant.

Michael J. Hofmann, Bryan Cave LLP, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant – Appellee.

JUDGES: Before PHILLIPS, KELLY, and McHUGH, Circuit Judges.

OPINION BY: McHUGH

OPINION

McHUGH, Circuit Judge.

During a ski lesson at Keystone Mountain Resort (“Keystone”), Doctor Teresa Brigance’s ski boot became wedged between the ground and the chairlift. She was unable to unload but the chairlift kept moving, which caused her femur to fracture. Dr. Brigance filed suit against Vail Summit Resorts, Inc. (“VSRI”), raising claims of (1) negligence, (2) negligence per se, (3) negligent supervision and training, (4) negligence (respondeat superior), (5) negligent hiring, and (6) violation of the Colorado Premises Liability Act (the “PLA”), Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-115. The district court dismissed Dr. Brigance’s negligence and negligence per se claims at the motion to dismiss stage. After discovery, the district court granted VSRI’s motion for summary judgment on the remaining claims, concluding the waiver Dr. Brigance signed before participating [*2] in her ski lesson, as well as the waiver contained on the back of her lift ticket, are enforceable and bar her claims against VSRI. Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

Keystone is a ski resort located in Colorado that is operated by VSRI. In March 2015, Dr. Brigance visited Keystone with her family and participated in a ski lesson. At the time, ski lesson participants, including Dr. Brigance, were required to sign a liability waiver (the “Ski School Waiver”) before beginning their lessons. The Ski School Waiver signed1 by Dr. Brigance contained, among other things, the following provisions:

RESORT ACTIVITY, SKI SCHOOL, & EQUIPMENT RENTAL WARNING, ASSUMPTION OF RISK, RELEASE OF LIABILITY & INDEMNITY AGREEMENT

THIS IS A RELEASE OF LIABILITY & WAIVER OF CERTAIN LEGAL RIGHTS.

. . .

2. I understand the dangers and risks of the Activity and that the Participant ASSUMES ALL INHERENT DANGERS AND RISKS of the Activity, including those of a “skier” (as may be defined by statute or other applicable law).

3. I expressly acknowledge and assume all additional risks and dangers that may result in . . . physical injury and/or death above and beyond the inherent dangers [*3] and risks of the Activity, including but not limited to: Falling; free skiing; following the direction of an instructor or guide; . . . equipment malfunction, failure or damage; improper use or maintenance of equipment; . . . the negligence of Participant, Ski Area employees, an instructor . . . or others; . . . lift loading, unloading, and riding; . . . . I UNDERSTAND THAT THE DESCRIPTION OF THE RISKS IN THIS AGREEMENT IS NOT COMPLETE AND VOLUNTARILY CHOOSE FOR PARTICIPANT TO PARTICIPATE IN AND EXPRESSLY ASSUME ALL RISKS AND DANGERS OF THE ACTIVITY, WHETHER OR NOT DESCRIBED HERE, KNOWN OR UNKNOWN, INHERENT OR OTHERWISE.

4. Participant assumes the responsibility . . . for reading, understanding and complying with all signage, including instructions on the use of lifts. Participant must have the physical dexterity and knowledge to safely load, ride and unload the lifts. . . .

. . .

6. Additionally, in consideration for allowing the Participant to participate in the Activity, I AGREE TO HOLD HARMLESS, RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND NOT TO SUE [VSRI] FOR ANY . . . INJURY OR LOSS TO PARTICIPANT, INCLUDING DEATH, WHICH PARTICIPANT MAY SUFFER, ARISING IN WHOLE OR IN PART OUT OF PARTICIPANT’S PARTICIPATION [*4] IN THE ACTIVITY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THOSE CLAIMS BASED ON [VSRI’s] ALLEGED OR ACTUAL NEGLIGENCE . . . .

Aplt. App’x at 117 (emphasis in original).

1 Although VSRI did not produce an original or copy of the Ski School Waiver signed by Dr. Brigance, it provided evidence that all adults participating in ski lessons at Keystone are required to sign a waiver and that the Ski School Waiver was the only waiver form used by VSRI for adult ski lessons during the 2014-15 ski season. Before it was clear that VSRI could not locate its copy of the signed waiver, Dr. Brigance indicated in discovery responses and deposition testimony that she signed a waiver before beginning ski lessons. See Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc. (“Brigance II“), No. 15-cv-1394-WJM-NYW, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, 2017 WL 131797, at *3-4 (D. Colo. Jan. 13, 2017). Based on this evidence and Dr. Brigance’s failure to argue “that a genuine question remains for trial as to whether she did in fact sign the Ski School Waiver in the form produced or whether she agreed to its terms,” 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, [WL] at *4, the district court treated her assent to the Ski School Waiver as conceded and concluded that “there is no genuine dispute as to whether [Dr. Brigance] consented to the terms of the Ski School Waiver,” id.

On appeal, Dr. Brigance offers no argument and points to no evidence suggesting that the district court’s conclusion was erroneous in light of the evidence and arguments before it. Instead, she merely denies having signed the Ski School Waiver and reiterates that VSRI has yet to produce a signed copy of the waiver. But in response to questioning at oral argument, counsel for Dr. Brigance conceded that this court could proceed with the understanding that Dr. Brigance signed the Ski School Waiver. Oral Argument at 0:41-1:23, Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., No. 17-1035 (10th Cir. Nov. 13, 2017). Three days later, counsel for Dr. Brigance filed a notice with the court effectively revoking that concession.

Dr. Brigance’s assertion that she did not execute the Ski School Waiver is forfeited because she failed to adequately raise it as an issue below. Avenue Capital Mgmt. II, L.P. v. Schaden, 843 F.3d 876, 884 (10th Cir. 2016); see also Brigance II, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, 2017 WL 131797, at *4 (“[N]otwithstanding the absence of a signed copy of the [Ski School Waiver], [Dr. Brigance] does not argue that this issue presents a genuine dispute requiring trial.”). But even if we were to entertain the argument, it would fail to defeat summary judgment. Despite her obfuscation, VSRI’s inability to produce the signed Ski School Waiver and Dr. Brigance’s assertions that she did not sign the waiver–which contradict her discovery responses and deposition testimony–are insufficient to establish that the district court erred in concluding that no genuine dispute exists as to whether Dr. Brigance agreed to the terms of the waiver. [HN1] “Although the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact” rests with the movant at summary judgment, “the nonmovant must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Champagne Metals v. Ken-Mac Metals, Inc., 458 F.3d 1073, 1084 (10th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks omitted). Indeed, the

party asserting that a fact . . . is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by: (A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record . . . ; or (B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence . . . of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(A)–(B). Dr. Brigance made no such showing below, nor does she attempt to do so on appeal.

In addition, Dr. Brigance’s husband purchased a lift ticket enabling her to ride the ski lifts at Keystone. Dr. Brigance received the ticket from her husband and used it to ride the Discovery Lift. The lift ticket contained a warning and liability waiver (the “Lift Ticket Waiver”) on its back side, which provides in pertinent part:

HOLDER AGREES AND UNDERSTANDS THAT SKIING . . . AND USING A SKI AREA, INCLUDING LIFTS, CAN BE HAZARDOUS.

WARNING

Under state law, the Holder of this pass assumes the risk of any injury to person or property resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing and may not recover from the [*5] ski area operator for any injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing. Other risks include cliffs, extreme terrain, jumps, and freestyle terrain. Holder is responsible for having the physical dexterity to safely load, ride and unload the lifts and must control speed and course at all times. . . . Holder agrees to ASSUME ALL RISKS, inherent or otherwise. Holder agrees to hold the ski area harmless for claims to person or property. . . .

. . .

NO REFUNDS. NOT TRANSFERABLE. NO RESALE.

Id. at 121 (emphasis in original).

After receiving some instruction during her ski lesson on how to load and unload from a chairlift, Dr. Brigance boarded the Discovery Lift. As Dr. Brigance attempted to unload from the lift, her left ski boot became wedged between the ground and the lift. Although she was able to stand up, she could not disengage the lift because her boot remained squeezed between the ground and the lift. Eventually, the motion of the lift pushed Dr. Brigance forward, fracturing her femur.

B. Procedural Background

Dr. Brigance filed suit against VSRI in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado as a result of the injuries she sustained while attempting to unload [*6] from the Discovery Lift.2
In her amended complaint Dr. Brigance alleged that the short distance between the ground and the Discovery Lift at the unloading point–coupled with the inadequate instruction provided by her ski instructor, the chairlift operator’s failure to stop the lift, and VSRI’s deficient hiring, training, and supervision of employees–caused her injuries. She consequently asserted the following six claims against VSRI: (1) negligence; (2) negligence per se; (3) negligent supervision and training; (4) negligence (respondeat superior); (5) negligent hiring; and (6) liability under the PLA.

2 The district court properly invoked diversity jurisdiction because Dr. Brigance is a citizen of Florida and VSRI is a Colorado corporation with its principal place of business in Colorado, and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(a), (c)(1)(B)–(C).

VSRI moved to dismiss all claims raised by Dr. Brigance with the exception of her respondeat superior and PLA claims. The district court granted in part and denied in part VSRI’s motion. Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc. (“Brigance I“), No. 15-cv-1394-WJM-NYM, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31662, 2016 WL 931261, at *1-5 (D. Colo. Mar. 11, 2016). It dismissed Dr. Brigance’s negligence claim as preempted by the PLA. 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31662, [WL] at *3-4. It also dismissed her negligence per se claim, concluding that she “fail[ed] to identify any requirement” of the Colorado Ski Safety Act of 1979 (the “SSA”), Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 33-44-101 to -114, that VSRI had allegedly violated. Brigance I, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31662, 2016 WL 931261, at *2. In dismissing this claim, the district court also held that the [*7] provisions of the Passenger Tramway Safety Act (the “PTSA”), Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 25-5-701 to -721, relied upon by Dr. Brigance “do[ ] not provide a statutory standard of care which is adequate to support [a] claim for negligence per se.” Brigance I, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31662, 2016 WL 931261, at *2 (emphasis omitted). But the district court refused to dismiss Dr. Brigance’s claims regarding negligent supervision and training and negligent hiring. 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31662, [WL] at *4-5.

Upon completion of discovery, VSRI moved for summary judgment on the basis that the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver completely bar Dr. Brigance’s remaining claims. In the alternative, VSRI argued that summary judgment was appropriate because (1) Dr. Brigance failed to satisfy the elements of her PLA claim and (2) her common-law negligence claims are preempted by the PLA and otherwise lack evidentiary support. Dr. Brigance opposed the motion, contending in part that the waivers are unenforceable under the SSA and the four-factor test established by the Colorado Supreme Court in Jones v. Dressel, 623 P.2d 370 (Colo. 1981). Dr. Brigance also asserted that her common-law negligence claims are not preempted by the PLA and that she presented sufficient evidence to allow her claims to be heard by a jury.

The district court granted VSRI’s motion. Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc. (“Brigance II“), No. 15-cv-1394-WJM-NYW, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, 2017 WL 131797, at *10 (D. Colo. Jan. 13, 2017) [*8] . It determined that the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver are enforceable under the factors established by the Colorado Supreme Court in Jones and that the SSA and PTSA do not otherwise invalidate the waivers. 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, [WL] at *5-9. It then determined that all of Dr. Brigance’s remaining claims fall within the broad scope of the waivers and are therefore barred. 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, [WL] at *10. This appeal followed.

II. DISCUSSION

Dr. Brigance challenges the district court’s enforcement of both the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver, as well as the dismissal of her negligence and negligence per se claims. [HN2] “[B]ecause the district court’s jurisdiction was based on diversity of citizenship, [Colorado] substantive law governs” our analysis of the underlying claims and enforceability of the waivers. Sylvia v. Wisler, 875 F.3d 1307, 2017 WL 5622916, at *3 (10th Cir. 2017) (internal quotation marks omitted). We “must therefore ascertain and apply [Colorado] law with the objective that the result obtained in the federal court should be the result that would be reached in [a Colorado] court.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). In doing so, “we must defer to the most recent decisions of the state’s highest court,” although “stare [*9] decisis requires that we be bound by our own interpretations of state law unless an intervening decision of the state’s highest court has resolved the issue.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

Although the substantive law of Colorado governs our analysis of the waivers and underlying claims, [HN3] federal law controls the appropriateness of a district court’s grant of summary judgment and dismissal of claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Stickley v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 505 F.3d 1070, 1076 (10th Cir. 2007). We therefore review the district court’s grant of summary judgment and dismissal of claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) de novo, applying the same standards as the district court. Id.; see also Sylvia, 875 F.3d 1307, 2017 WL 5622916, at *4, 16. “However, we may affirm [the] district court’s decision[s] on any grounds for which there is a record sufficient to permit conclusions of law, even grounds not relied upon by the district court.” Stickley, 505 F.3d at 1076 (internal quotation marks omitted).

“Summary judgment should be granted if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Sylvia, 875 F.3d 1307, 2017 WL 5622916, at *16 (internal quotation marks omitted). Because it is undisputed that all of Dr. Brigance’s claims–including those dismissed pursuant [*10] to Rule 12(b)(6)–fall within the broad scope of either waiver if they are deemed enforceable under Colorado law, the first, and ultimately only, question we must address is whether the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver are enforceable.

[HN4] Under Colorado law, “exculpatory agreements have long been disfavored,” B & B Livery, Inc. v. Riehl, 960 P.2d 134, 136 (Colo. 1998), and it is well-established that such agreements cannot “shield against a claim for willful and wanton conduct, regardless of the circumstances or intent of the parties,Boles v. Sun Ergoline, Inc., 223 P.3d 724, 726 (Colo. 2010). See also Espinoza v. Ark. Valley Adventures, LLC, 809 F.3d 1150, 1152 (10th Cir. 2016) (“Under Colorado common law, it’s long settled that courts will not give effect to contracts purporting to release claims for intentional, knowing, or reckless misconduct.”). “But claims of negligence are a different matter. Colorado common law does not categorically prohibit the enforcement of contracts seeking to release claims of negligence.” Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1152; accord Chadwick v. Colt Ross Outfitters, Inc., 100 P.3d 465, 467 (Colo. 2004). Neither does it always preclude exculpatory agreements as to claims of negligence per se. Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1154-55.

Accordingly, [HN5] the Colorado Supreme Court has instructed courts to consider the following four factors when determining the enforceability of an exculpatory agreement: “(1) the existence of a duty to the public; (2) the nature of the service performed; (3) whether the [*11] contract was fairly entered into; and (4) whether the intention of the parties is expressed in clear and unambiguous language.” J/ones, 623 P.2d at 376. It appears that if an exculpatory agreement satisfies any of the four factors, it must be deemed unenforceable. Although consideration of these factors is generally sufficient to determine the enforceability of exculpatory agreements, the Colorado Supreme Court has clarified that “other public policy considerations” not necessarily encompassed in the Jones factors may invalidate exculpatory agreements. See Boles, 223 P.3d at 726 (“[M]ore recently, we have identified other public policy considerations invalidating exculpatory agreements, without regard to the Jones factors.”); see, e.g., Cooper v. Aspen Skiing Co., 48 P.3d 1229, 1232-37 (Colo. 2002), superseded by statute, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-22-107.

The district court examined each of the Jones factors and concluded that none of them preclude enforcement of the Ski School Waiver or Lift Ticket Waiver. Brigance II, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, 2017 WL 131797, at *5-8. It also determined that the provisions of the SSA and PTSA “have no effect on the enforceability” of the waivers. 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, [WL] at *9. We agree.

A. The Jones Factors

1. Existence of a Duty to the Public

[HN6] The first Jones factor requires us to examine whether there is an “existence of a duty to the public,” Jones, 623 P.2d at 376, or, described another way, “whether [*12] the service provided involves a duty to the public,” Mincin v. Vail Holdings, Inc., 308 F.3d 1105, 1109 (10th Cir. 2002). The Colorado Supreme Court has not specified the precise circumstances under which an exculpatory agreement will be barred under this factor, but it has explained that unenforceable exculpatory agreements

generally involve businesses suitable for public regulation; that are engaged in performing a public service of great importance, or even of practical necessity; that offer a service that is generally available to any members of the public who seek it; and that possess a decisive advantage of bargaining strength, enabling them to confront the public with a standardized adhesion contract of exculpation.

Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 467. The Colorado Supreme Court has expressly “distinguished businesses engaged in recreational activities” from the foregoing class of businesses because recreational activities “are not practically necessary” and therefore “the provider[s of such activities] owe[ ] no special duty to the public.” Id.; see also Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1153 (“Though some businesses perform essential public services and owe special duties to the public, the [Colorado Supreme] [C]ourt has held that ‘businesses engaged in recreational activities’ generally do not.” (quoting Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 467)).

And, indeed, [*13] Colorado courts examining exculpatory agreements involving recreational activities under Colorado law have almost uniformly concluded that the first Jones factor does not invalidate or render unenforceable the relevant agreement. See, e.g., Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 467-69; Jones, 623 P.2d at 376-78; Stone v. Life Time Fitness, Inc., No. 15CA0598, 2016 COA 189M, 2016 WL 7473806, at *3 (Colo. App. Dec. 29, 2016) (unpublished) (“The supreme court has specified that no public duty is implicated if a business provides recreational services.”), cert. denied, No. 17SC82, 2017 Colo. LEXIS 572, 2017 WL 2772252 (Colo. Jun. 26, 2017); Hamill v. Cheley Colo. Camps, Inc., 262 P.3d 945, 949 (Colo. App. 2011) (“Our supreme court has held that businesses engaged in recreational activities that are not practically necessary, such as equine activities, do not perform services implicating a public duty.”); see also Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1153-56; Mincin, 308 F.3d at 1110-11; Patterson v. Powdermonarch, L.L.C., No. 16-cv-00411-WYD-NYW, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151229, 2017 WL 4158487, at *5 (D. Colo. July 5, 2017) (“Businesses engaged in recreational activities like [defendant’s ski services] have been held not to owe special duties to the public or to perform essential public services.”); Brooks v. Timberline Tours, Inc., 941 F. Supp. 959, 962 (D. Colo. 1996) (“Providing snowmobile tours to the public does not fall within” the first Jones factor.); Lahey v. Covington, 964 F. Supp. 1440, 1445 (D. Colo. 1996) (holding white-water rafting is recreational in nature and is therefore “neither a matter of great public importance nor a matter of practical necessity” (internal quotation marks omitted)), aff’d sub nom., Lahey v. Twin Lakes Expeditions, Inc., 113 F.3d 1246 (10th Cir. 1997).

The relevant services provided by VSRI–skiing and ski lessons–are [*14] clearly recreational in nature. Like horseback riding and skydiving services, see Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 467; Jones, 623 P.2d at 377, skiing and ski lessons are not of great public importance or “matter[s] of practical necessity for even some members of the public,” Jones, 623 P.2d at 377. They therefore do not implicate the type of duty to the public contemplated in the first Jones factor. Although it appears the Colorado Supreme Court and Colorado Court of Appeals have yet to address the first Jones factor within the context of skiing or ski lesson services, the few courts that have considered similar issues have reached the unsurprising conclusion that ski-related services are recreational activities and do not involve a duty to the public. See, e.g., Rumpf v. Sunlight, Inc., No. 14-cv-03328-WYD-KLM, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107946, 2016 WL 4275386, at *3 (D. Colo. Aug. 3, 2016); Potter v. Nat’l Handicapped Sports, 849 F. Supp. 1407, 1409 (D. Colo. 1994); Bauer v. Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp., 788 F. Supp. 472, 474 (D. Colo. 1992).

Dr. Brigance fails to address the principle “that businesses engaged in recreational activities that are not practically necessary . . . do not perform services implicating a public duty.” Hamill, 262 P.3d at 949. Instead, she contends VSRI owes a duty to the public because the ski and ski lesson services provided by VSRI implicate a number of additional factors the California Supreme Court relied upon in Tunkl v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 60 Cal. 2d 92, 32 Cal. Rptr. 33, 383 P.2d 441, 444-46 (Cal. 1963), to determine whether an exculpatory agreement should be deemed invalid as affecting [*15] public interest.3 Specifically, Dr. Brigance contends VSRI owes a duty to the public because the Colorado ski industry is subject to express regulation under the SSA and PTSA, VSRI is willing to perform its services for any member of the public who seeks them, VSRI maintains an advantage in bargaining strength, and skiers are placed under the complete control of VSRI when riding their lifts.

3 Dr. Brigance separately argues that the waivers are invalid under the provisions and public policies contained within the SSA, PTSA, and PLA. Although she incorporates these arguments in her analysis of the first Jones factor, we address them separately in Section II.B, infra.

The Colorado Supreme Court has cited Tunkl and noted its relevance in determining whether a business owes a duty to the public. Jones, 623 P.2d at 376-77. But when analyzing the first Jones factor, particularly within the context of recreational services, courts applying Colorado law focus on and give greatest weight to whether the party seeking to enforce an exculpatory agreement is engaged in providing services that are of great public importance or practical necessity for at least some members of the public. See, e.g., Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1153-54; Rowan v. Vail Holdings, Inc., 31 F. Supp. 2d 889, 896-97 (D. Colo. 1998); Potter, 849 F. Supp. at 1409; Jones, 623 P.2d at 376-77; Stone, 2016 COA 189M, 2016 WL 7473806, at *3; Hamill, 262 P.3d at 949. And the additional factors listed by Dr. Brigance are insufficient to establish that the recreational services offered by VSRI are of great public importance or practically necessary. An activity does not satisfy the first Jones factor simply because it is subject to state regulation. [*16] As we have explained, the first Jones factor does not

ask whether the activity in question is the subject of some sort of state regulation. Instead, [it] ask[s] whether the service provided is of “great importance to the public,” a matter of “practical necessity” as opposed to (among other things) a “recreational one. [Jones,] 623 P.2d at 376-77. And the distinction the Jones factors draw between essential and recreational services would break down pretty quickly if the presence of some state regulation were enough to convert an otherwise obviously “recreational” service into a “practically necessary” one. After all, state law imposes various rules and regulations on service providers in most every field these days–including on service providers who operate in a variety of clearly recreational fields.

Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1154; see also Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 467-68. Furthermore, Dr. Brigance’s argument regarding VSRI’s bargaining strength is more properly addressed under the third Jones factor, and her remaining arguments concerning VSRI’s willingness to provide services to the public and its control over skiers are not sufficiently compelling to sway us from departing from the principle “that [HN7] no public duty is implicated if a business provides recreational services.” [*17] Stone, 2016 COA 189M, 2016 WL 7473806, at *3.

The district court therefore did not err in concluding that the first Jones factor does not render the Ski School Waiver and the Lift Ticket Waiver unenforceable.

2. Nature of the Service Performed

[HN8] Under the second Jones factor, we examine “the nature of the service performed.” Jones, 623 P.2d at 376. Analysis of this factor is linked to and in many respects overlaps the analysis conducted under the first Jones factor, as it calls for an examination of whether the service provided is an “essential service” or a “matter of practical necessity.” See Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1153; Stone, 2016 COA 189M, 2016 WL 7473806, at *3; Hamill, 262 P.3d at 949. As is evident from our discussion of the first Jones factor, Colorado “courts have consistently deemed recreational services to be neither essential nor a matter of practical necessity.” Stone, 2016 COA 189M, 2016 WL 7473806, at *3; see also Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 467 (noting “recreational activities . . . are not practically necessary”); Jones, 623 P.2d at 377-78 (holding the skydiving service provided by defendants “was not an essential service”); Hamill, 262 P.3d at 949 (acknowledging recreational camping and horseback riding services are not essential or matters of practical necessity). And as previously established, the ski and ski lesson services offered by VSRI are recreational in nature and therefore, like other recreational activities examined by this and other [*18] courts, cannot be deemed essential or of practical necessity. See, e.g., Mincin, 308 F.3d at 1111 (“[M]ountain biking is not an essential activity.”); Squires ex rel. Squires v. Goodwin, 829 F. Supp. 2d 1062, 1073 (D. Colo. 2011) (noting the parties did not dispute that skiing “is a recreational service, not an essential service”); Rowan, 31 F. Supp. 2d at 897 (“[S]kiing is not an essential service.”); Potter, 849 F. Supp. at 1410 (disagreeing with plaintiff’s argument that “ski racing for handicapped skiers rises to the level of an essential service [as] contemplated by Colorado law”); Bauer, 788 F. Supp. at 474 (noting “free skiing[, equipment rentals, and ski lessons] for travel agents do[ ] not rise to the level of essential service[s] contemplated by Colorado law.”).

Dr. Brigance raises no argument specific to this factor other than asserting that “the ski industry is a significant revenue generator for the State of Colorado” and the services provided by VSRI are “public [in] nature.” Aplt. Br. 47. Dr. Brigance cites no authority suggesting that either factor would render the recreational services provided by VSRI essential in nature. And given Colorado courts’ assertion that “recreational services [are] neither essential nor . . . matter[s] of practical necessity,” Stone, 2016 COA 189M, 2016 WL 7473806, at *3, we conclude the district court did not err in determining that the second Jones factor also does not dictate that the waivers be [*19] deemed unenforceable.

3. Whether the Waivers Were Fairly Entered Into

[HN9] The third Jones factor requires us to examine “whether the contract was fairly entered into.” Jones, 623 P.2d at 376. “A contract is fairly entered into if one party is not so obviously disadvantaged with respect to bargaining power that the resulting contract essentially places him at the mercy of the other party’s negligence.” Hamill, 262 P.3d at 949 (citing Heil Valley Ranch, Inc. v. Simkin, 784 P.2d 781, 784 (Colo. 1989)). When engaging in this analysis, we examine the nature of the service involved, Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1156, the circumstances surrounding the formation of the contract, id., and whether the services provided are available from a source other than the party with which the plaintiff contracted,
see Stone, 2016 COA 189M, 2016 WL 7473806, at *3; Hamill, 262 P.3d at 950.

The Colorado Court of Appeals has identified “[p]ossible examples of unfair disparity in bargaining power [as] includ[ing] agreements between employers and employees and between common carriers or public utilities and members of the public.” Stone, 2016 COA 189M, 2016 WL 7473806, at *3. It has also expressly acknowledged an unfair disparity in bargaining power in residential landlord-tenant relationships, presumably based in part on its holding “that housing rental is a matter of practical necessity to the public.” Stanley v. Creighton Co., 911 P.2d 705, 708 (Colo. App. 1996). But the Colorado Court of Appeals has also held that “this type of unfair disparity [*20] is generally not implicated when a person contracts with a business providing recreational services.” Stone, 2016 COA 189M, 2016 WL 7473806, at *3. This is because recreational activities are not essential services or practically necessary, and therefore a person is not “at the mercy” of a business’s negligence when entering an exculpatory agreement involving recreational activities. Hamill, 262 P.3d at 949-50. As we have previously explained, “Colorado courts have repeatedly emphasized that . . . because recreational businesses do not provide ‘essential’ services of ‘practical necessity[,]’ individuals are generally free to walk away if they do not wish to assume the risks described” in an exculpatory agreement. Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1157; see also Mincin, 308 F.3d at 1111 (noting that a disparity of bargaining power may be created by the “practical necessity” of a service, but that no such necessity existed because “mountain biking is not an essential activity” and therefore the plaintiff “did not enter into the contract from an inferior bargaining position”).

We reiterate, at the risk of redundancy, that the ski and ski lesson services offered by VSRI are recreational in nature and do not constitute essential services or matters of practical necessity. As a result, Dr. Brigance did not enter the Ski [*21] School Waiver or Lift Ticket Waiver from an unfair bargaining position because she was free to walk away if she did not wish to assume the risks or waive the right to bring certain claims as described in the waivers. This conclusion is supported by a number of cases involving similar recreational activities, including those we have previously addressed under the first two Jones factors. See, Jones, 623 P.2d at 377-78 (holding an exculpatory release related to skydiving services was not an unenforceable adhesion contract “because the service provided . . . was not an essential service” and therefore the defendant “did not possess a decisive advantage of bargaining strength over” the plaintiff); see also Squires, 829 F. Supp. 2d at 1071 (“Where, as here, the service provided is a recreational service and not an essential service, there is no unfair bargaining advantage.”); Day v. Snowmass Stables, Inc., 810 F. Supp. 289, 294 (D. Colo. 1993) (“[T]he recreational services offered by [defendant] were not essential and, therefore, [it] did not enjoy an unfair bargaining advantage.”); Bauer, 788 F. Supp. at 475 (“Here, defendants’ recreational services were not essential and, therefore, they did not enjoy an unfair bargaining advantage.”).

Moreover, the circumstances surrounding Dr. Brigance’s entry into the exculpatory agreements indicate she [*22] did so fairly. Dr. Brigance does not identify any evidence in the record calling into question her competency, ability to comprehend the terms of the agreements, or actual understanding of the agreements. Nor does she point to anything in the record reflecting an intent or attempt by VSRI to fraudulently induce her to enter the agreements or to conceal or misconstrue their contents. In addition, there is nothing in the record to suggest Dr. Brigance’s agreement to the terms of the Ski School Waiver was not voluntary. See Brigance II, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, 2017 WL 131797, at *3-4.

Notwithstanding the well-established law that exculpatory agreements involving businesses providing recreational services do not implicate the third Jones factor, Dr. Brigance argues her assent to the terms of the Lift Ticket Waiver was obtained unfairly and that VSRI had an advantage in bargaining strength. This is so, she contends, because she “did not have a chance to review the exculpatory language contained on the back of the non-refundable [lift] ticket before she purchased it” and that “[o]nce the ticket was purchased, she was forced to accept the exculpatory language or lose the money she invested.” Aplt. Br. 47. Dr. Brigance’s argument fails to account for her [*23] voluntary acceptance of the Ski School Waiver. And although Dr. Brigance asserts she “did not have a chance to review” the Lift Ticket Waiver before purchasing it, she does not identify any evidence that VSRI prevented her from reviewing the Lift Ticket Waiver before she used it to ride the Discovery Lift, and “Colorado courts have repeatedly emphasized that individuals engaged in recreational activities are generally expected to read materials like these.” Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1157. Most importantly, Dr. Brigance did not raise this argument below and does not provide a compelling reason for us to address it on appeal.4
See Crow v. Shalala, 40 F.3d 323, 324 (10th Cir. 1994) (“Absent compelling reasons, we do not consider arguments that were not presented to the district court.”).

4 In fact, the district court noted that Dr. Brigance “neither disputes the relevant facts nor counters VSRI’s argument that she accepted the contractual terms of the Lift Ticket Waiver by skiing and riding the lifts.” Brigance II, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447, 2017 WL 131797, at *4. As a result, the district court concluded Dr. Brigance had agreed to the terms of the Lift Ticket Waiver and would be bound to its terms to the extent it was otherwise enforceable. Id.

For these reasons, the district court did not err in concluding that the third Jones factor does not render the Ski School Waiver or the Lift Ticket Waiver unenforceable.

4. Whether the Parties’ Intent Was Expressed Clearly and Unambiguously

[HN10] The fourth and final Jones factor is “whether the intention of the parties is expressed in clear and unambiguous language.” Jones, 623 P.2d at 376. The inquiry conducted under this factor “should be whether the intent of the parties was to extinguish liability and [*24] whether this intent was clearly and unambiguously expressed.Heil Valley Ranch, 784 P.2d at 785. The Colorado Supreme Court has explained that “[t]o determine whether the intent of the parties is clearly and unambiguously expressed, we [may] examine[ ] the actual language of the agreement for legal jargon, length and complication, and any likelihood of confusion or failure of a party to recognize the full extent of the release provisions.”
Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 467. We may also take into account a party’s subsequent acknowledgement that it understood the provisions of the agreement. Id.
In addition, it is well-established that the term “negligence” is not invariably required for an exculpatory agreement to be deemed an unambiguous waiver or release of claims arising from negligent conduct. Id.

The Ski School Waiver contains approximately a page and a half of terms and conditions in small, but not unreadable, font.5 It prominently identifies itself as, among other things, a “RELEASE OF LIABILITY . . . AGREEMENT”–a fact that is reiterated in the subtitle of the agreement by inclusion of the statement “THIS IS A RELEASE OF LIABILITY & WAIVER OF CERTAIN LEGAL RIGHTS.” Aplt. App’x 117. The provisions of the waiver include the signer’s express acknowledgment [*25] and assumption of “ALL INHERENT DANGERS AND RISKS of the Activity, including those of a ‘skier’ (as may be identified by statute or other applicable law),” as well as “all additional risks and dangers that may result in . . . physical injury and/or death above and beyond the inherent dangers and risks of the Activity, including but not limited to” a lengthy list of specific events and circumstances that includes “lift loading, unloading, and riding.” Id. In addition to this assumption-of-the-risk language, the Ski School Waiver provides that the signer

AGREE[S] TO HOLD HARMLESS, RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND NOT TO SUE [VSRI] FOR ANY . . . INJURY OR LOSS TO PARTICIPANT, INCLUDING DEATH, WHICH PARTICIPANT MAY SUFFER, ARISING IN WHOLE OR IN PART OUT OF PARTICIPANT’S PARTICIPATION IN THE ACTIVITY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THOSE CLAIMS BASED ON ANY RELEASED PARTY’S ALLEGED OR ACTUAL NEGLIGENCE OR BREACH OF ANY CONTRACT AND/OR EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY.

Id.

5 Although Dr. Brigance denies that she signed the Ski School Waiver, see supra note 1, she has not made any arguments regarding the readability or font size of the terms and conditions.

The Lift Ticket Waiver–approximately two paragraphs in length–is not as detailed as the Ski School Waiver, but contains somewhat similar language regarding the ticket holder’s assumption of risk and waiver of claims. After detailing [*26] some of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing that the holder of the ticket assumes, as well as identifying other risks and responsibilities, the Lift Ticket Waiver provides that the “Holder agrees to ASSUME ALL RISKS, inherent or otherwise” and “to hold the ski area harmless for claims to person and property.” Id. at 121.

Neither waiver is unduly long nor complicated, unreadable, or overburdened with legal jargon. Most importantly, the intent of the waivers is clear and unambiguous. In addition to the language indicating Dr. Brigance’s assumption of all risks of skiing, inherent or otherwise, both waivers contain clear language stating that Dr. Brigance agreed to hold VSRI harmless for injuries to her person as a result of skiing at Keystone. Moreover, the Ski School Waiver clearly and unambiguously provides that Dr. Brigance agreed to “RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND NOT TO SUE” VSRI for personal injuries arising in whole or in part from her participation in ski lessons, including claims based on VSRI’s “ALLEGED OR ACTUAL NEGLIGENCE.” Id. at 117. Dr. Brigance does not argue that any of the language regarding her agreement to hold harmless, indemnify, release, or not to sue VSRI is ambiguous or confusing. [*27] And like this and other courts’ examination of similarly worded provisions, we conclude the relevant release language of the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver cannot be reasonably understood as expressing anything other than an intent to release or bar suit against VSRI from claims arising, in whole or in part, as a result of Dr. Brigance’s decision to ski and participate in ski lessons at Keystone, including claims based on VSRI’s negligence. See Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1157-58; Mincin, 308 F.3d at 1112-13; Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 468-69; B & B Livery, 960 P.2d at 137-38; Hamill, 262 P.3d at 950-51.

Dr. Brigance’s argument on appeal regarding the fourth Jones factor centers on the assumption-of-the-risk language contained in both waivers. Specifically, Dr. Brigance contends the intent of the waivers is ambiguous because the provisions providing that she assumes all risks of skiing, “inherent or otherwise,” conflict with the SSA because the statute’s provisions only bar a skier from recovering against a ski area operator “for injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-44-112; see also id. at 33-44-103(3.5). Because of this alleged conflict, Dr. Brigance asserts that she could not know whether she was “releasing [VSRI] of all liability as indicated by the [waivers], or only for the inherent risks of skiing as [*28] mandated by the SSA.” Aplt. Br. 50-51.

Dr. Brigance’s argument is unavailing for a number of reasons. First, it only addresses the assumption-of-the-risk language contained in each waiver. But the more pertinent provisions of the waivers are those regarding Dr. Brigance’s agreement to hold harmless, release, indemnify, and not to sue VSRI. These provisions appear independent from the assumption-of-the-risk language and therefore their plain meaning is unaffected by any potential ambiguity in the “inherent or otherwise” clauses. Dr. Brigance does not contest the clarity of the release provisions and, as previously described, we believe those provisions unambiguously reflect the parties’ intent to release VSRI from claims arising from Dr. Brigance’s participation in ski lessons at Keystone.

Second, the Lift Ticket Waiver’s “assumes all risks, inherent or otherwise” phrase, as well as a similar phrase contained in the Ski School Waiver, are not ambiguous. Rather, their meanings are clear–the signer of the agreement or holder of the ticket is to assume all risks of skiing, whether inherent to skiing or not. The term “otherwise,” when “paired with an adjective or adverb to indicate its contrary”–as [*29] is done in both waivers–is best understood to mean “NOT.” Webster’s Third New Int’l Dictionary 1598 (2002). The plain language and meaning of the phrases therefore reflect a clear intent to cover risks that are not inherent to skiing. Dr. Brigance offers no alternative reading of the phrases and does not specify how “inherent or otherwise” could be understood as only referring to the inherent risks identified in the SSA. And while the Ski School Waiver contains a provision in which the signer agrees to assume all inherent dangers and risks of skiing as may be defined by statute or other applicable law, the next provision of the agreement clearly expands that assumption of risk, stating that the signer “expressly acknowledge[s] and assume[s] all additional risks and dangers that may result in . . . physical injury and/or death above and beyond the inherent dangers and risks of the Activity, including but not limited to” a rather extensive list of circumstances or events that may occur while skiing, including “lift loading, unloading, and riding.” Aplt. App’x at 117. That same provision continues, indicating that the signer understands the description of risks in the agreement is “NOT COMPLETE,” but that the signer nevertheless [*30] voluntarily chooses to “EXPRESSLY ASSUME ALL RISKS AND DANGERS OF THE ACTIVITY, WHETHER OR NOT DESCRIBED HERE, KNOWN OR UNKNOWN, INHERENT OR OTHERWISE.” Id. Reading the “inherent or otherwise” phrase in context clearly indicates that, at a minimum, the Ski School Waiver includes an assumption of risk above and beyond the inherent risks and dangers of skiing as defined in the SSA. See Ringquist v. Wall Custom Homes, LLC, 176 P.3d 846, 849 (Colo. App. 2007) (“In determining whether a provision in a contract is ambiguous, the instrument’s language must be examined and construed in harmony with the plain and generally accepted meanings of the words used, and reference must be made to all the agreement’s provisions.”); Moland v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office of State, 111 P.3d 507, 510 (Colo. App. 2004) (“The meaning and effect of a contract is to be determined from a review of the entire instrument, not merely from isolated clauses or phrases.”).

Third, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected a similar argument in B & B Livery, Inc. v. Riehl, 960 P.2d 134 (Colo. 1998). There, the Colorado Supreme Court examined an exculpatory agreement that included a statutorily mandated warning that equine professionals are not liable to others for the inherent risks associated with participating in equine activities, “as well as a broader clause limiting liability from non-inherent risks.” Id. at 137-38. It concluded that “the [*31] insertion of a broader clause further limiting liability does not make the agreement ambiguous per se” and instead “merely evinces an intent to extinguish liability above and beyond that provided” in the statute. Id. at 137; see also Hamill, 262 P.3d at 951 (upholding enforcement of an exculpatory agreement that purported to cover “inherent and other risks,” as well as claims against “any legal liability,” and noting that “[t]o hold . . . that the release did not provide greater protection than the release from liability of inherent risks provided by the equine act . . . would render large portions of the agreement meaningless”). Furthermore, the waivers do not conflict with the SSA merely because they purport to cover a broader range of risks than those identified by the statute as inherent to skiing. See Fullick v. Breckenridge Ski Corp., No. 90-1377, 1992 U.S. App. LEXIS 9988, 1992 WL 95421, at *3 (10th Cir. Apr. 29, 1992) (unpublished) (“If one could never release liability to a greater degree than a release provided in a statute, then one would never need to draft a release, in any context.”); Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 468 (“[T]his court has made clear that parties may, consistent with the [equine] statute, contract separately to release sponsors even from negligent conduct, as long as the intent of the parties is clearly expressed in the contract.”).

Finally, the single [*32] case relied upon by Dr. Brigance that applies Colorado law is distinguishable. In Rowan v. Vail Holdings, Inc., 31 F. Supp. 2d 889, 899-900 (D. Colo. 1998), the district court determined an exculpatory agreement was ambiguous and therefore unenforceable in part because it first recited “the risks being assumed in the broadest possible language,” expressly including risks associated with the use of ski lifts, and then later addressed the assumption of risk in terms of the inherent risks and dangers of skiing as defined in the SSA, which indicates the use of ski lifts does not fall within its definition of inherent risks. The release therefore conflicted with itself and the relevant statutory language.
See Cunningham v. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Corp., 673 F. App’x 841, 847 (10th Cir. Dec. 20, 2016) (unpublished). But unlike the waiver at issue in Rowan, the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver do not define the inherent risks of skiing in a manner contrary to the SSA. Nor do they contain conflicting provisions. The non-exhaustive list of inherent risks identified in the Lift Ticket Waiver appears to be drawn directly from the SSA, while the Ski School Waiver indicates inherent risks include those “as may be defined by statute or other applicable law.” Aplt. App’x at 117, 121. In addition, after referencing the inherent risks of skiing and providing that the signer [*33] of the agreement assumes those risks, the Ski School Waiver goes on to identify other, non-inherent risks associated with skiing and ski lessons and expressly provides that the signer assumes those risks. Specifically, the waiver makes clear that the risks assumed by Dr. Brigance include “all additional risks and dangers . . . above and beyond the inherent dangers and risks” of skiing and ski lessons, whether described in the waiver or not, known or unknown, or inherent or otherwise. Id. at 117. Unlike the provisions at issue in Rowan that provided conflicting statements regarding the risks assumed, the waivers here unambiguously provide that Dr. Brigance agreed to not only assume risks and dangers inherent to skiing, but also those risks and dangers not inherent to skiing.

Accordingly, the district court did not err in concluding that the fourth Jones factor does not invalidate the waivers.

***

Based on the foregoing analysis, we agree with the district court that application of the Jones factors to the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver do not render them unenforceable.

B. The SSA and PTSA

Although analysis of the Jones factors is often sufficient to determine the validity of an exculpatory [*34] agreement, the Colorado Supreme Court has “identified other public policy considerations invalidating exculpatory agreements, without regard to the Jones factors.” Boles, 223 P.3d at 726. At various points on appeal, either as standalone arguments or embedded within her analysis of the Jones factors, Dr. Brigance contends the Ski School Waiver and the Lift Ticket Waiver are unenforceable as contrary to Colorado public policy because they conflict with the SSA, PTSA, and the public policies announced therein.6 The district court considered these arguments and determined that the statutes do not affect the enforceability of either waiver as to Dr. Brigance’s claims. We find no reason to disagree.

6 Dr. Brigance also argues that the PLA prohibits use of exculpatory agreements as a defense to claims raised under its provisions and that the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver conflict with the public policies set forth in its provisions. But Dr. Brigance forfeited these arguments by failing to raise them in the district court. Avenue Capital Mgmt. II, 843 F.3d at 884. Although we may consider forfeited arguments under a plain-error standard, we decline to do so when, as here, the appellant fails to argue plain error on appeal. Id. at 885; see also Richison v. Ernest Grp., Inc., 634 F.3d 1123, 1130-31 (10th Cir. 2011). We decline to address Dr. Brigance’s argument that the waivers are unenforceable because their language is broad enough to encompass willful and wanton behavior for the same reason.

In 1965, the Colorado General Assembly enacted the PTSA with the purpose of assisting “in safeguarding life, health, property, and the welfare of the state in the operation of passenger tramways.” Bayer v. Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Inc., 960 P.2d 70, 73 (Colo. 1998). [HN11] The PTSA provides that “it is the policy of the state of Colorado to establish a board empowered to prevent unnecessary mechanical hazards in the operation of passenger tramways” and to assure that reasonable design and construction, periodic inspections, and adequate devices and personnel are provided with respect to passenger [*35] tramways. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-5-701. The General Assembly empowered the board “with rulemaking and enforcement authority to carry out its functions,” including the authority to “conduct investigations and inspections” and “discipline ski area operators.” Bayer, 960 P.2d at 73-74; see also Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 25-5-703 to -704, -706 to -707. With its authority, the board adopted the standards, with some alterations, utilized by the American National Standards Institute for passenger tramways. Bayer, 960 P.2d at 73-74.

The General Assembly enacted the SSA fourteen years later. The SSA “supplements the [PTSA]’s focus on ski lifts, but its principal function is to define the duties of ski areas and skiers with regard to activities and features on the ski slopes.” Id. at 74. [HN12] The provisions of the SSA indicate that “it is in the interest of the state of Colorado to establish reasonable safety standards for the operation of ski areas and for the skiers using them” and that the SSA’s purpose is to supplement a portion of the PTSA by “further defin[ing] the legal responsibilities of ski area operators . . . and . . . the rights and liabilities existing between the skier and the ski area operator.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-44-102. [HN13] In addition to the SSA’s provisions defining various responsibilities and duties of skiers and ski area operators, [*36] the 1990 amendments to the SSA limited the liability of ski area operators by providing that “no skier may make any claim against or recover from any ski area operator for injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing.” Id. at 33-44-112. The SSA also provides that any violation of its provisions applicable to skiers constitutes negligence on the part of the skier, while “[a] violation by a ski area operator of any requirement of [the SSA] or any rule or regulation promulgated by the passenger tramway safety board . . . shall . . . constitute negligence on the part of such operator.” Id. at 33-44-104. “The effect of these statutory provisions is to make violations of the [SSA] and [the rules and regulations promulgated by passenger tramway safety board] negligence per se.Bayer, 960 P.2d at 74. [HN14] Ultimately, the SSA and PTSA together “provide a comprehensive . . . framework which preserves ski lift common law negligence actions, while at the same time limiting skier suits for inherent dangers on the slopes and defining per se negligence for violation of statutory and regulatory requirements.” Id. at 75.

Dr. Brigance contends the waivers conflict with the public policy objectives of the SSA and PTSA because enforcing [*37] either waiver would allow VSRI to disregard its statutorily defined responsibilities and duties. We find Dr. Brigance’s argument unpersuasive.

At the outset, it is worth reiterating that [HN15] under Colorado law exculpatory agreements are not invalid as contrary to public policy simply because they involve an activity subject to state regulation. Espinoza, 308 F.3d at 1154; see also id. at 1155 (acknowledging the Colorado Supreme Court has allowed enforcement of exculpatory agreements with respect to equine activities despite the existence of a statute limiting liability for equine professionals in certain circumstances, while still allowing for liability in other circumstances); Mincin, 308 F.3d at 1111 (“The fact that the Colorado legislature has limited landowner liability in the contexts of horseback riding and skiing is relevant to the question of whether landowner liability might be limited in other circumstances absent a contract.”). Similarly, exculpatory agreements do not conflict with Colorado public policy merely because they release liability to a greater extent than a release provided in a statute.
See Fullick, 1992 U.S. App. LEXIS 9988, 1992 WL 95421, at *3; Chadwick, 100 P.3d at 468; B & B Livery, 960 P.2d at 137-38.

[HN16] It is true that the SSA and PTSA identify various duties and responsibilities that, if violated, may subject a ski area operator to [*38] liability. But the acts establish a framework preserving common law negligence actions in the ski and ski lift context, Bayer, 960 P.2d at 75, and do nothing to expressly or implicitly preclude private parties from contractually releasing potential common law negligence claims through use of an exculpatory agreement. While “a statute . . . need not explicitly bar waiver by contract for the contract provision to be invalid because it is contrary to public policy,” Stanley v. Creighton Co., 911 P.2d 705, 707 (Colo. App. 1996), Dr. Brigance does not identify a single provision in either the SSA or PTSA suggesting the enforcement of exculpatory agreements in the ski and ski lift context is impermissible or contrary to public policy. Moreover, “Colorado law has long permitted parties to contract away negligence claims in the recreational context” and we “generally will not assume that the General Assembly mean[t] to displace background common law principles absent some clear legislative expression of that intent.” Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1154, 1155. This principle is particularly relevant in the context of exculpatory agreements because “[t]he General Assembly . . . has shown that–when it wishes–it well knows how to displace background common law norms and preclude the release of civil claims.” Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1154-55.

Our conclusion that [*39] the SSA and PTSA do not bar exculpatory agreements is supported by the Colorado Supreme Court’s regular enforcement of exculpatory agreements involving recreational activities, particularly in the context of equine activities, as well as the General Assembly’s relatively recent pronouncements regarding the public policy considerations involved in a parent’s ability to execute exculpatory agreements on behalf of its child with respect to prospective negligence claims. In 2002, the Colorado Supreme Court concluded that Colorado public policy prohibits a parent or guardian from releasing a minor’s prospective claims for negligence. See Cooper, 48 P.3d at 1237. The Colorado Supreme Court’s broad holding appeared to apply even within the context of recreational activities, as the relevant minor had injured himself while skiing. Id. at 1231-35. The following year, the General Assembly enacted Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-22-107, which expressly declared that the General Assembly would not adopt the Colorado Supreme Court’s holding in Cooper. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-22-107(1)(b). Instead, the General Assembly explained that, among other things, it is the public policy of Colorado that “[c]hildren . . . should have the maximum opportunity to participate in sporting, recreational, educational, and other activities [*40] where certain risks may exist” and that “[p]ublic, private, and non-profit entities providing these essential activities to children in Colorado need a measure of protection against lawsuits.” Id. at 13-22-107(1)(a)(I)-(II). Accordingly, the General Assembly established that “[a] parent of a child may, on behalf of the child, release or waive the child’s prospective claim for negligence.” Id. at 13-22-107(3). The General Assembly’s enactment of § 33-22-107 reaffirms Colorado’s permissive position on the use of exculpatory agreements in the recreational context, and its authorization of parental releases and waivers suggests it did not intend and would not interpret the SSA as barring such agreements for adults.

Notwithstanding the lack of any statutory suggestion that the SSA and PTSA prohibit the enforcement of exculpatory agreements as a matter of public policy, Dr. Brigance contends two Colorado Court of Appeals decisions support her assertion to the contrary. In Stanley v. Creighton, the Colorado Court of Appeals analyzed an exculpatory clause in a residential rental agreement under the Jones factors and concluded that the agreement involved a public interest sufficient to invalidate the exculpatory [*41] clause. 911 P.2d at 707-08. The Stanley court reached this conclusion because, among other things, Colorado has long regulated the relationship between landlords and tenants, the PLA “confirms that landowner negligence is an issue of public concern,” and “a landlord’s services are generally held out to the public and . . . housing rental is a matter of practical necessity to the public.” Id. Although the Stanley court’s partial reliance on the existence of state regulations tends to support Dr. Brigance’s assertion that the existence of the SSA and PTSA render the Ski School Wavier and Lift Ticket Waiver either contrary to public policy or sufficient to satisfy the first Jones factor, the circumstances here are readily distinguishable. Unlike residential housing, skiing is not essential nor a matter of practical necessity. Among other considerations not present here, the Stanley court “placed greater emphasis on the essential nature of residential housing” and “alluded to a distinction between residential and commercial leases, implying that an exculpatory clause might well be valid in the context of a commercial lease.” Mincin, 308 F.3d at 1110.

Similarly, Dr. Brigance’s reliance on Phillips v. Monarch Recreation Corp., 668 P.2d 982 (Colo. App. 1983), does not alter our conclusion. In Phillips [*42]
, the Colorado Court of Appeals stated that “[s]tatutory provisions may not be modified by private agreement if doing so would violate the public policy expressed in the statute.” Id. at 987. Applying this principle, the Phillips court concluded that because the SSA “allocate[s] the parties’ respective duties with regard to the safety of those around them, . . . the trial court correctly excluded a purported [exculpatory] agreement intended to alter those duties.” Id. But apparently unlike the agreement at issue in Phillips, the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver do not appear to alter the duties placed upon VSRI under the SSA. See, Fullick, 1992 U.S. App. LEXIS 9988, 1992 WL 95421, at *3. And the court’s application of this principle to the SSA appears to be inconsistent with the more recent pronouncements by the Colorado Supreme Court and General Assembly regarding Colorado policies toward the enforceability of exculpatory agreements in the context of recreational activities. Moreover, as detailed above, the SSA and PTSA do not express a policy against exculpatory agreements.

“Given all this,” particularly the SSA’s and PTSA’s silence with respect to exculpatory agreements, “we do not think it our place to adorn the General Assembly’s handiwork with revisions to [*43] the [SSA, PTSA, and] common law that it easily could have but declined to undertake for itself.” Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1155.

In summary, Colorado’s “relatively permissive public policy toward recreational releases” is one “that, no doubt, means some losses go uncompensated.” Espinoza, 809 F.3d at 1153. And the Colorado Supreme Court and General Assembly may someday “prefer a policy that shifts the burden of loss to the service provider, ensuring compensation in cases like this.” Id. But “that decision is their decision to make, not ours, and their current policy is clear.” Id. As a result, for the reasons stated above, we conclude the Ski School Waiver and Lift Ticket Waiver are enforceable and accordingly bar Dr. Brigance’s claims.

III. CONCLUSION

We AFFIRM the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of VSRI and, on this alternative basis, its partial grant of VSRI’s motion to dismiss.


Backcountry skier sues in Small Claims Court in San Miguel County Colorado for injuries she received when a backcountry snowboarder triggered an Avalanche that injured her.

The defendant snowboarder had agreed not to descend the slope until the lower parties had called and told them they had cleared the area. The defendant failed to wait and admitted he had triggered the Avalanche.

BEFORE COMMENTING READ EVERYTHING. I WAS NOT THE ATTORNEY FOR EITHER PARTY IN THIS CASE. The defendant in his comments about this article made that statement that I was the plaintiff’s attorney. He was the one in court, not me. How he made that mistake I don’t know. But Sober Up!

State: Colorado, San Miguel Small Claims Court

Plaintiff: Jayleen Troutwin

Defendant: Christopher Parke

Plaintiff Claims: Negligence

Defendant Defenses:

Holding: for the plaintiff

Year: 2017

Facts

Under Colorado law, you can create a duty when you agree to act or not act. Here the defendant created a duty when he agreed not to descend the slope until he had received a phone call from the first party that they had cleared the danger area.

This is a first of its kind suit that I have found, and the judge’s decision in this case is striking in its clarity and reasoning. At the same time, it might open up backcountry injuries to more litigation. The facts that created this lawsuit are specific in how the duty was created, and that will be rare in 90% of the backcountry accidents.

I have attached the written decision of the court to this analysis, and I encourage you to read it.

Facts: taken from the complaint, the CAIC Report and The Order of Judgment

The plaintiff was skiing out of bounds in Bear Creek outside of the Telluride Ski Area. While skiing they ran into the defendant and his friend. The defendant and friend were not ready to go, so the plaintiff and friend took off. The plaintiff and friend stated they would call the defendant when they were out of the danger zone at the bottom of the chute they both intended to ski.

The defendant and his friend did not wait, and triggered an avalanche. Plaintiff was still repelling when the avalanche hit her sweeping her off the rappel, and she fell 1200 feet down the slope riding the avalanche. She survived on top of the snow with several injuries.

The defendant admitted that it was his fault, and he would pay for the plaintiff’s medical bills. He made one payment and no others. The Plaintiff’s medical bills were in excess of $50,000. However, she still skied out after the incident.

The plaintiff sued the defendant in Small Claims Court. Small Claims court is for parties without attorneys, and the judge can grant a maximum of $7500.00 in damages.

Analysis: making sense of the law based on these facts.

Normally, participants in sporting or outdoor recreation events assume the risks inherent in the sport. Avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing. The Colorado Supreme Court has stated that in Colorado Supreme Court rules that an inbounds Avalanche is an inherent risk assumed by skiers based upon the Colorado Skier Safety Act.

Under most circumstances, the plaintiff in this situation would have assumed the risk of her injuries. What sets this decision apart was the agreement at the top of the mountain between the two groups of people. One group agreed not to descend into the chute until the other group had cleared the chute.

This creates an assumed duty on the part of the defendant. By agreeing to the acts, the plaintiff assumed a duty to the defendant.

The assumed duty doctrine “must be predicated on two factual findings.” “A plaintiff must first show that the defendant, either through its affirmative acts or through a promise to act, undertook to render a service that was reasonably calculated to prevent the type of harm that befell the plaintiff.” “Second, a plaintiff must also show either that he relied on the defendant to perform the service or that defendant’s undertaking increased plaintiff’s risk.”

This assumed duty was done specifically to prevent injuries to the other skiers. The skiers also relied on this agreement when they skied down the slope.

This Court, therefore, finds that the Defendant assumed a duty of care in agreeing not to ski his chosen route while Troutwin and Hope were still skiing theirs in an effort to avoid a skier-triggered avalanche.

Thus, when the defendant started down the chute, he violated the agreed to duty of care to the skiers below them.

The next issue to prove negligence in this case is causation or proximate causation. The breach of the duty by the defendant must be related to the injury the plaintiff received. The court simply found but for the actions of the defendant, the injuries of the plaintiff would not have occurred.

The defendant admitted triggering the avalanche, and the avalanche is what swept the plaintiff off the rappel.

The defendant raised two defenses at trial. Comparative Negligence and Assumption of Risk.

Comparative negligence asks, “did the actions of the plaintiff create or expose the plaintiff to an unreasonable risk of harm?” Comparative negligence is applied to reduce the damages the plaintiff might receive if both parties are at fault in causing the injuries to the plaintiff.

The defendant argued the plaintiff assumed the risk of her injuries and was a partial cause of her injuries when she did not use a backup device on her rappel.

The court looked at the failure to use a backup system on rappel as the same as failing to wear a seatbelt in a car or failing to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. Both have been determined by the Colorado Supreme Court to not be a component contributing to comparative negligence.

The reasoning behind this is simple. The plaintiff should not be required to determine in advance the negligence of any third party. Meaning it is not the injured parties’ duty, in advance to determine and then deal with any possible negligence of any other person. If that was the case, you could never leave the house because you never guessed what injury you might have received.

…[f]irst, a defendant should not diminish the consequences of his negligence by the failure of the injured party to anticipate defendant’s negligence in causing the accident itself. Second, a defense premised on an injured party’s failure to wear a protective helmet would result in a windfall to tortfeasors who pay only partially for the harm their negligence caused. Third, allowing the defense would lead to a veritable battle of experts as to what injuries would have or have not been avoided had the plaintiff been wearing a helmet.

The court found that neither comparative negligence, nor assumption of the risk applied to these facts and were not a defense to the plaintiff’s claims.

The court also added a section to its opinion about the future of backcountry skiing and the Policy issues this decision might create. It is well-written and worth quoting here.

51. This Court has determined that Parke’s duty of care is a result of his express assumption of that duty, rather than broader policy concerns that are typically addressed in protracted discussions of legal duty. It is nevertheless, worth noting that given the increasing popularity of backcountry skiing and skiing into Bear Creek, in particular, the risk of skiers triggering avalanches above one-another is likely increasing. In situations where skiers have no knowledge of whether a group is below, the legal outcome of an accident may be different than the result reached here. A liability rule that thus encourages skiers to avoid investigating whether their descent might pose a risk to those below feels averse to sound public policy. Communication and coordination between groups of backcountry skiers is surely good practice.

52. But meaningful communication is not necessarily impossible in these circumstances. This Court is swayed by the availability of radios like that which Troutwin and Hope carried. These radios are a communication option that appears more reliable than cellular telephones. Perhaps if they become more prevalent, more communication between parties will take place. And it follows and is foreseeable that other communications platforms or safety standards will develop to address this specific risk. The liability rule discussed here does not necessarily foreclose those developments.

53. The ethics and liability rules associated with backcountry skiing are likely to continue to evolve as its popularity increases and safety standards emerge. The law is likely to continue to evolve in kind.

It is refreshing to see a judge look at the broader aspect of his or her decision as it applies to an evolving sport.

The court found that the plaintiff suffered $9,660.00 in damages. The jurisdictional limit a Colorado Small Claims court can issue is a maximum of $7,500.00, which is the amount the plaintiff was awarded.

So Now What?

If you say you are going to do something, do it. If you say you are going to wait, wait. It is that simple.

More importantly, litigation has now entered the realm of backcountry skiing. Will it create more litigation, probably? Backcountry skiers who have no health insurance or no income while they recover will be looking for a way to get hospital bill collectors off their phone and pizza coming to the front door. Worse, health insurance companies will look at a way through their subrogation clauses to try to recover the money they pay out on behalf of their insureds.

At the same time, based upon these facts, the defendant was the sole cause of the plaintiff’s injuries not because he triggered an avalanche, but because he agreed not to trigger an avalanche.

Documents Attached:

Notice, Claim and Summons to Appear for a Trial.   

Answer

Trial Exhibits 1 through 9

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

Exhibit 3

Exhibit 4

Exhibit 5

Exhibit 6

Exhibit 7

Exhibit 8

Exhibit 9

Order of Judgment

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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