Network Firm News

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

WHEELER TRIGG KENNEDY HELPS SILVERTON MOUNTAIN SKI AREA PREVAIL IN PROPERTY RIGHTS, TRESPASSING SUIT IN ORDER TO REMAIN OPEN
Hugh Gottschalk and Alissa Hecht of the Network's Colorado member, Wheeler Trigg Kennedy, recently defended its client, Silverton Mountain Ski Area, in a lawsuit which could have closed the fast-growing, four-year old ski area. Plaintiffs Jim Jackson and the Silverton Land and Cattle Co. had competitively sought to obtain the BLM lease to open their own ski area on the same land and had lost his bid to the Defendants. In the lawsuit, they claimed that the ski area was violating his mining-claim property rights by allowing it's skiers to trespass on their property, alleging that the avalanche control efforts that took place on his property. The State of Colorado filed an amicus brief prior to trial in support of Defendants right to conduct avalanche control on private property.

Judge Gregory Lyman upheld the county and ski area's rights to conduct avalanche control. While the Court issued a detailed opinion acknowledging that trespasses had occurred, it denied Plaintiffs request for an injunction and declined to award compensatory damages. Mr. Gottschalk, who was lead trial counsel, stated, "The Silverton Mountain Ski Area has boosted economic development in Silverton and the region , and we are pleased to have worked to keep it open."
 

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