Krabloonik taken to court over alleged sled crash
Family seeking compensation for injuries, lost income after sled hit tree
Krabloonik Dog Sledding faces a lawsuit in federal court over a ride that allegedly ended abruptly after a musher fell off a sled that subsequently crashed into a tree, injuring two passengers.
The parents of a minor who broke her leg in two places in the crash filed the suit March 7 in the U.S. District Court of Denver.
The lawsuit suggests both Krabloonik and the musher driving the sled at the time should be held responsible for the crash by paying the family’s medical bills — the mom also injured her arm and elbow — as well as future expenses. The plaintiff seeks additional compensation for income family members lost in the aftermath of the crash and other damages.
The owners of the Snowmass Village operation did not directly address the allegations in a statement given to the Snowmass Sun on March 23. The statement did, however, note that inherent risks go with participating in outdoor activities.
“We make certain that each one of our guests understands the risks that can happen through safety videos and liability waivers along with guide instructions before each adventure,“ said Danny Phillips, who owns the business with his wife Gina. ”The safety of our guests is always the most important part of our adventures.“
But according to the complaint filed by the Houston-based plaintiffs, Krabloonik staff did not show a safety video to the family before the ride and did not warn them about the potential dangers of dog sledding.
“Unbeknownst to Plaintiffs and other potential consumers of Defendant Krabloonik, dog sledding is an inherently dangerous activity,” the suit said.
Englewood attorney Jacob M. Burg, who represents the plaintiffs, did not respond to a message seeking comment before press time.
Based on the lawsuit’s version of the story, the mother and daughter were on a dogsled ride originating from Krabloonik on March 11, 2019. Conditions were icy, and “Krabloonik knew or should have known (conditions were) dangerous for dog sledding,” the suit alleged. According to the suit, the musher fell off the dogsled, “leaving the mom and daughter on a run-away sled.”
“Shortly thereafter, the sled that Plaintiffs … were riding in crashed into a tree causing them to suffer severe injuries,” the suit said.
Ski patrol transported the girl from the scene to an ambulance for transfer to Aspen Valley Hospital, the suit said.
“Krabloonik breached its duty to exercise reasonable care to protect Plaintiffs against the dangers on the Premises including, without limitation: operating a dog sled on unsafe terrain and unsafe weather conditions, failing to utilize chains, failing to utilize safety equipment such as helmets and appropriate braking systems, and failing to properly train and supervise its dog sled mushers and employees,” the suit said. “These conditions were ones the Defendant Krabloonik knew of, or reasonably should have known of, and Defendant Krabloonik failed to adequately warn Plaintiffs of the conditions in sufficient time so that Plaintiffs’ injuries, damages and losses could have been prevented.”
The differences between Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo and Michael Buglione — whether professional, political or personal — were on full display at Thursday’s candidate debate held in Aspen.