Former ski instructor regroups in fight with Aspen Skiing Co.
Former ski instructor Lee Mulcahy’s attorneys have taken over his 3½ year old dispute against Aspen Skiing Co. with an amended lawsuit that contends his constitutional rights were violated and he is owed damages.
Mulcahy hired the prominent Denver law firm of Haddon, Morgan and Foreman in March after he represented himself in the litigation for a couple of years. Attorney Ty Gee filed an amended complaint against Aspen Skiing Co. on March 26 seeking a court declaration that Skico violated Mulcahy’s protected rights of free speech under the Colorado Constitution. Mulcahy is seeking an injunction prohibiting Skico from enforcing a ban of Mulcahy entering any of its property. He is also seeking compensatory damages and legal costs.
Mulcahy is seeking a jury trial. Attorneys for Skico haven’t responded yet to the lawsuit.
Mulcahy was a 15-year employee of Skico and one of the top-ranked instructors at Snowmass Ski Area. He wrote a letter to the editor of local newspapers critical of his employer in summer 2010. That triggered a feud that got nastier over the coming year. Mulcahy was fired in January 2011. Skico said it was over his performance and violation of company policies. Mulcahy said it was because he talked to other ski instructors about starting a union.
Skico banned Mulcahy from entering its property and the federal land it leases for its ski areas when he distributed flyers advertising a meeting over Skico’s treatment of rookie ski instructors. He is trying to get that ban nullified.
Mulcahy also claims in the lawsuit that he suffered damages when Skico fired him for retaliatory reasons.
“On matters relating to employment practices in and around the Aspen area, including its own employment practices, Skico is thin-skinned and highly protective of its interests,” Mulcahy’s attorney wrote in the complaint. “As exemplified by its conduct toward Mr. Mulcahy, Skico moves quickly and preemptively to shut down speech critical of Skico or its many related businesses or speech supporting or containing political content it disagrees with.”
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