Vail Ski Resort settles lawsuit after New Jersey father suffocated to death in chairlift accident

Fox News Flash top headlines for March 28

Vail Ski Resort has settled a wrongful death case with the three surviving children of a New Jersey father who subsequently choked to death. Falling through chair lift And it gets stuck in his coat.

Jason Varnish Short Hills, New JerseyHe was 46 when he died as a result of “unnecessary and preventable tragedy” on February 13, 2020, said attorney Peter Borg.

“Jason Varnish was a truly remarkable human being whose death leaves a hole in the hearts of his family and friends,” Burg said in a statement announcing that the popular ski destination had reached a confidential settlement before the case went to trial.

The statement from Burg reads, “The chair that Mr. Varnish was preparing to ride came to the loading line with the seat in an elevated position against the backrest of the chair.

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Jason Varnish died of asphyxiation at Vail Ski Resort, Colorado.

Jason Varnish died of asphyxiation at Vail Ski Resort, Colorado. (Jacob Hall Funeral Home)

The statement continued, “A rubber bumper attached to the seat frame of the chair, which is normally covered when the seat is in the down position, got stuck in Mr. Varnish’s jacket, causing his jacket to become entangled with the chair.” “The chair began to rise from the lower hall, and Mr. Varnish got off his feet from the chair.”

Burg said Varnish, who was in Vail Mountain’s Blue Sky Basin, “was hanging from a chair by his jacket approximately 70 feet from the load line and 10 feet in the air for more than 8 minutes.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Varnish’s jacket restricted his ability to breathe, and he died of localized asphyxia,” she added, echoing the diagnosis reached by Eagle County Chief Kara Bettis.

Vail Resorts did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital on Tuesday.

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A skier makes runs on a trail near Blue Sky Basin Overlook at Vail Ski Resort in April 2016. Varnish died in that area of ​​the mountain in 2020.

A skier makes runs on a trail near Blue Sky Basin Overlook at Vail Ski Resort in April 2016. Varnish died in that area of ​​the mountain in 2020. (Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The law firm said Vail “affirmed that the waiver and release provisions included in the ski pass and in the documents signed for obtaining a ski permit or equipment rental prevented a complaint by the Varnish Kids and any refund.”

The factual allegations against Weil also described various violations of provisions of the Penal Code Colorado Ski Safety Act and the rules of the Colorado Tramway Passenger Safety Board.”

“It is also time for the legislature and the courts to stop allowing the ski industry to feel completely detached from any liability by using liability waivers for things that are clearly not risks inherent in skiing. It harms the ski community. Accountability is critical to safety,” Borg said. the public”.

At the time of his death, Varnish was managing director and global head of principal services risk at Credit Suisse, according to his obituary.

In the Blue Sky Basin area of ​​Fell Mountain, it was Varnish "hanging from chair... for more than 8 minutes," said a law firm representing his children.

Varnish was “hanging from the chair … for more than 8 minutes,” said a law firm representing his children in Vail Mountain’s Blue Sky Basin. (Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

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“Whether he was golfing, boating, or sitting at the pub, Jesse cherished the time he spent with his friends,” the obituary read. “His many interests included music, reading, and cars, and he was an excellent and eager cook. Above all, Gus loved his family.”

Varnish is survived by his three children, his wife, parents, and other family members.

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