Summit County family sues The Canyons |

Summit County family sues The Canyons

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

A Summit County couple has sued The Canyons claiming the ski area’s negligence caused their minor son to suffer a traumatic brain injury. A complaint filed in 3rd District Court July 8 seeks unspecified damages from the resort.

Summit County resident Levi Rutherford belonged to the Summit Ski Team when he was practicing with teammates Jan. 15 at The Canyons. The young skiers used a race course set up on the Retreat run, according to the five-page complaint.

"At the same time, at least one snow-making machine was in operation and producing snow on the Retreat run, downhill from where the ski team practice was being held," the lawsuit states. "The snow-making machine had produced a wall of man-made snow which spanned the entire width of Retreat to varying depths across the run."

According to the complaint, Rutherford crashed into the wall of snow, sustaining serious injuries.

"The [wall of snow] was obscured by additional snow which was continuously being produced and blown across the run by the snow-making machine," the lawsuit states.

The resort operators had a duty to mark man-made hazards on the hill with signage or block off the hazards, according to the complaint.

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"As a result of his injuries, Levi has suffered, and will continue to suffer, economic damages including, without limitation, past and future medical and care expenses and loss of earning capacity," the lawsuit states.

Philip and Wendy Rutherford filed the complaint against Talisker Canyons Finance Company, which is doing business as The Canyons.

A spokeswoman for The Canyons did not comment about the lawsuit when reached on Tuesday.