DENVER, Colorado -- The family of a Texas woman who fell to her death at Ski Granby Ranch late last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the small resort.
Kelly Huber, 40, of San Antonio, died after falling approximately 25 feet from the Quick Draw lift onto hard-packed snow in the Dec. 29 incident. Her two daughters, ages 9 and 12, were also thrown out of the chair and injured.
William Huber, the girls' father, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Denver on Friday that claimed the resort knew the lift was unsafe before the deadly incident.
"The Defendant knew or should have known that a fall from the Quick Draw Express could be calamitous to the occupant of the ski lift, resulting in serious permanent injury or death," the suit read in part.
A person quoted in the lawsuit who said he was sitting in the chair directly behind the Huber family said he saw their chair swing "drastically."
"He saw the Hubers’ chair hit Tower 5 and the Huber family fall to the ground. [The witness] also noted that the lift operator kept starting and stopping the lift," the suit read.
The suit also claims the force from the Hubers' fall was so powerful that it cracked one of the girl's ski helmet.
In the month following the incident, a report by the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board concluded an equipment malfunction caused the Hubers' fall.
According to a statement issued after the fall by Ski Granby Ranch CEO Melissa Cipriani, the lift had operated safely for 16 years – “up until an independent contractor made modifications to the lift’s electrical drive/control system before the start of the current ski season.”
The Quick Draw lift is open, according to Granby's website.
In November, the owners of Ski Granby Ranch announced they would list the property in January.
The Ciprianis purchased the resort on Sept. 28, 1995.
9NEWS reached out to Melissa Cipriani on Saturday. She said they are not discussing the case.
Family of woman who died on chairlift files lawsuit by 9news on Scribd