On December 30, 2003, Roger Hakim and Tyler Valkoun, both minors, were participating in a snowboarding class at Beaver Creek ski resort in Eagle County, Colorado. Tyler was riding too fast, he lost control and fell and slid into Roger. The basis of Roger’s claim of liability: Tyler Valkoun violated C.R.S. Sections 33-44-109(1) & (5) by negligently failing to operate his snowboard in a safe, controlled, and careful manner while on the ski slopes and failed to maintain control of his speed so as to be able to avoid other skiers, including Roger, and to refrain from acting in a manner which would cause injury to himself or others. Tyler also violated C.R.S. § 33-44-109(2) by failing to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other people on the slope.

The defenses argued: Roger was comparatively negligent in causing the accident, assumption or risk, and failing to be vigilant while on a slope open to the public and in a heavily traveled area near the base of the mountain.

Roger suffered: central cord syndrome secondary to spinal cord injury; spinal column injury with fractures at C4-C5 level with focal kyphosis and potential instability; severe dysesthetic pain secondary to spinal cord and associated nerve root trauma; Grade IV left vertebral artery injury with occlusion and reconstitution; and Anomalous termination of left vertebral artery into posterior and inferior cerebellar artery. A Halo ring was affixed to Roger’s skull on January 14, 2004 and removed on April 14th. Roger remained in a neck brace until mid-July 2004. Medical expenses incurred by the Hakim family in this case amounted to $107,998.34 plus $14,593.18 out-of-pocket costs associated with this incident.

A policy limits demand in the amount of $301,000.00 was made against Tyler Valkoun, his parents, Scott and Kasey Valkoun, and their insurer, American Family Insurance. No court case was filed as the defendants’ insurer made a policy limits settlement in response to our demand pre-filing.

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