Two people are suing a woman and her child for injuries the plaintiffs say they suffered when their roller-coaster cars allegedly collided at the Snowmass Ski Area last spring.
The negligence lawsuit by Floy Yvonne Ribar and Kelly Allison of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., filed last week in Pitkin County District Court, lists Jill Schlenker and her child as defendants. The Aspen Daily News does not print the names of minors in legal cases.
Ribar and Allison were riding in a car on the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster on April 14, 2018. At the end of the ride, the defendants, in the car behind them, rammed Ribar and Allison’s car, the lawsuit says.
The plaintiffs allege that Schlenker’s child, who was under 16 at the time, was driving the defendants’ car. That would be a violation of the driver requirements established by the Aspen Skiing Co., which owns and operates the coaster.
“Driver must be 16 years or older to pilot sled with passenger,” the SkiCo’s rules say. “Riders are solely responsible for both monitoring the speed of their sled and to control their braking in order to maintain safe distances between sleds.”
The forest ride opened in December 2017, and its cars can reach speeds of 28 mph. The SkiCo, which requires participants to sign a liability waiver, is not named in the lawsuit.
The rules also required Schlenker and her child to “stop their coaster car at a designated spot on the track before the spot where they ran into Ribar and Allison’s car,” wrote the plaintiffs’ attorney, Brett Heckman of Edwards.
The lawsuit says both Ribar and Allison were hurt but does not specify their alleged injuries. But the injuries may be permanent, and both suffered “physical impairment, emotional distress, loss of earning capacity and physical suffering,” Heckman wrote.
A person who answered the phone at a number listed for Schlenker said she was out of the country Monday.