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Mediation Between Vail Resort and Parents of Young Avalanche Victim Unsuccessful

Monday, October, 28, 2013


Mediation has been unsuccessful between officials at Vail, Colorado and the parents of Taft Conlin, a young boy who died in an avalanche at the resort on January 22, 2013.   The dispute surrounding the tragic death of the 13-year-old was ordered into mediation by a judge but according to a recent article released in the Denver Post, Conlin’s family will be returning back to the courtroom to find a litigated settlement for the alleged wrongful death of their young son. 


Due to the confidential nature of mediation, details have not been released to the press or to the public.  The only thing that is known at this point is that James Heckbert is an attorney representing Taft Conlin’s parents, Stephen Conlin and Louise Ingalls, and the case is scheduled to go to trial in June of next year. 

Taft Conlin was skiing on Prima Cornice trail when the tragedy occurred, and there is question that remains regarding whether or not Conlin was in a closed area or open area when the avalanche took his life.  According to reports, while the top part of the entrance to the trail was closed, the gate at the bottom was open, allowing Conlin and his friends to enter the trail there. 


It is assumed that the boys skied to the right of the bottom gate near rocks before going into the closed-off part of the trail that was between the top and bottom entrances.  Conlin’s parents allege that since the area did not have rope enclosures or signs to warn of avalanche danger, the resort is responsible for the death.