Suit filed over Owl Creek Road collision
September 3, 2013
An Aspen woman who says she was injured in a January head-on collision on Owl Creek Road is suing the motorist who is said to have caused the accident as well as his employer.
Aspen attorney Alan Feldman, of Allen, Wertz and Feldman, filed the lawsuit Tuesday morning on behalf of Maribec Putian. The defendants in the suit are Matthew Swanson, of San Clemente, Calif., and the company he represented during the most recent ESPN Winter X Games, sports marketing company Oakley Inc., based in Foothill Ranch, Calif.
At 10 p.m. Jan. 26, Putian was driving from Snowmass Village to Aspen on Owl Creek Road in a 2006 Subaru Baja owned by her husband, the suit states.
As she rounded a turn to the left in the eastbound lane, Swanson, who was driving in the westbound lane, lost control of the 2007 Toyota sport utility vehicle owned by Oakley and collided with the front end of Putian's Subaru, the suit says.
A state trooper arrived at the scene around 10:29 p.m. He concluded in his accident report that Swanson "lost control and traveled into the eastbound lane of traffic" on Owl Creek Road, according to the suit.
The trooper issued Swanson a citation on suspicion of careless driving-causing bodily injury as well as having no proof of insurance. On March 19, Swanson pleaded guilty to the careless-driving violation and the 9th Judicial District Attorney's Office dismissed the charge of having no proof of insurance, the suit states.
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Putian's vehicle was totaled, and she "sustained bodily injuries that are ongoing," the suit alleges. She incurred "economic and noneconomic damages," including medical bills, lost wages, loss or diminution of future ability to work, pain and suffering, stress, anxiety and fear, the suit continues.
"Swanson owed a legal duty to Putian to operate the Toyota SUV in a safe, reasonable and prudent manner," the suit says.
At the time of the collision, Swanson held the position of director of the Oakley Sports Marketing-Action Sports Division, according to the suit.
"At the time of the events … the annual X Games were taking place in Aspen and Oakley significantly participates in the X Games," the suit states.
The lawsuit seeks a six-person jury trial to consider liability for the damages caused by Swanson's alleged negligence.
Swanson's LinkedIn page states that he manages the snowboard team at Oakley, a position that involves athlete management, budgeting, marketing, advertising, public relations, asset management, internal communications, design inspiration and sales. He also is involved in contract negotiations and film productions.
Feldman declined to comment on the suit Tuesday afternoon. Phone messages left with Oakley's legal department were not returned.