Lawsuit continues against Avalanche airbag manufacturer for failure to deploy

State: Colorado

The good news is the lawsuit against the San Juan Search and Rescue, the Silverton Avalanche School and the school’s guide; Zachary Lovell have been dismissed.

Never Sue Search & Rescue!

They are just volunteers trying to save your dumb A$$

In that initial lawsuit, the airbag manufacturer Backcountry Access, a subsidiary of K2 was also sued.

The lawsuit argued the school, guide and pack-maker “created substantial and unreasonable risks of serious injury and death to participants” in the safety class.

The lawsuit is attempting to tie the failure of the airbag to deploy to a recall of the product.

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reported the recall of 8,200 Float 18 packs on Nov. 26, 2013, with a warning that the trigger assembly can fail “resulting in the air bag not deploying, posing a risk of death and injury in the event of an avalanche.”

Why Is This Interesting?

This will be watched, for several reasons.

  1. Product liability lawsuits are nasty & don’t change anything.
  2. Avalanches kill. If you are in the backcountry in the wintertime, there is not much you can do about that, except get lucky.
  3. Backcountry skiing is growing and when a sport grows so do the lawsuits.

@RecreationLaw #RecLaw #RecreationLaw #OutdoorRecreationLaw #OutdoorLaw #OutdoorIndustry @JjasonBlevins @ColoradoSun #Fatality #Lawsuit #InherentRisk #SkiAreaLaw #Avalanche @FriendsofCAIC @COAvalancheInfo

Who am I

Jim Moss

I’m an attorney specializing in the legal issues of the Outdoor Recreation Industry

I represent Manufactures, Outfitters, Guides, Reps, College & University’s, Camps, Youth Programs, Adventure Programs and Businesses


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Mountain Weather Workshop: Nov 2-4: Its getting to be that time of year!!!!

Mountain Weather Workshop

Avalanche On Ozone

Register online here:

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) and the Silverton Avalanche School are offering a three day workshop on Mountain Meteorology. Morning sessions

will provide a basic understanding of meteorological principles applied to weather in mountainous areas. Afternoon sessions will focus on using publicly available weather information to create a local forecast. Participants will interact with experienced weather forecasters and work in small groups to generate and present their own forecasts. The workshop is designed for avalanche practitioners and avid recreationalists. Anyone interested in mountain weather phenomena is welcome and no previous meteorological education is required. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop computer with wireless capability for the small group exercises.

This course is intended for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of weather processes and the products available for forecasting. Ski patrol, mountain guides, avalanche forecasters, natural resource managers, avid recreationalists and mountain pilots would all benefit from this course.

Dr. John Snook, Mountain Weather and Avalanche Forecaster, CAIC – Boulder
Dr. Ethan Greene, Director, CAIC

Students receive a mountain weather workbook as a part of the course. We highly recommend bringing a laptop with wireless networking capability.

Workshop Summary

A commonly practiced weather forecast strategy is to take a systematic approach to organizing forecast information by spatial scale. The approach starts by analyzing large-scale hemispheric information and then working downscale to high-resolution information. The workshop schedule reflects this strategy with a focus on big picture weather basics and phenomena on day one, followed by regional-scale weather on day two, and then mountain-scale weather on day three. Morning sessions will provide an understanding of meteorological systems at these particular scales. Afternoon sessions will apply this understanding to prediction techniques typically used by professional weather forecasters. Participants will gain practical skills through small group forecast preparation exercises at the end of each day.

Course Goals:

English: I took this picture on May 2006, on m...
• Provide a basic understanding of meteorology
• Apply that understanding to mountain weather
• Learn mountain weather forecasting techniques

Specifically, the Mountain Weather curriculum addresses:
• A general approach to weather forecasting
• Basic forecasting strategies and processes
• Meteorology basics
• Observational meteorology components
• Introduction to weather computer models
• Hemispheric to regional to mountain scale weather processes
• Precipitation mechanics
• Interpretation of weather products

Upon completion of the course, students will have had the opportunity to:
• Learn and utilize a framework and checklist for mountain scale weather forecasting
• Access and interpret available weather resources and models in forecasting exercises
• Develop a list of resources and forecasting approach to a specific area(s) of interest

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