A Basalt man is suing a skier from Wisconsin after he crashed into him while descending the Little Nell run on Aspen Mountain last month.
Thomas Waltner filed a lawsuit in Pitkin County District Court on Monday, alleging that Wisconsin resident Chris Cote violated the Colorado Skier Safety Act because he was allegedly skiing out of control, and as a result, collided with the plaintiff, causing injuries.
In the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages to be determined at trial, Waltner alleges that Cote was skiing behind him before the March 1 collision.
“Cote was skiing at a higher rate of speed than Waltner when Cote attempted to overtake Waltner on the ski trail,” reads the lawsuit filed by his Aspen attorney Jeff Wertz. “Although there was ample room on either side of Waltner for a safe pass, Cote collided with Waltner, hitting Waltner from behind and from the left, violently blind siding Waltner and causing him to crash and fall.”
Waltner’s injuries included a fractured bone in his upper arm, facial lacerations, muscular and orthopedic injuries to the leg, groin, pelvic, thoracic and other areas of his body.
Cote remained at the scene of the collision and spoke with Waltner, his friend, ski patrol and the mountain manager, according to the lawsuit. He apologized to Waltner and admitted that he was at fault, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit claims that Waltner’s injuries could be permanent, and damages and losses have and may continue to prevent him from engaging in his usual activities, hobbies, occupations and avocations.
A section of the skier safety act states, “Each skier has the duty to maintain control of his speed and course at all times when skiing and to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other skiers and objects. However, the primary duty shall be on the person skiing downhill to avoid collisions with any person or objects below him.”