Grand Teton Lodge Co. has settled a lawsuit over a 2006 rafting accident on the Snake River that killed three people. The settlement was announced to a jury that had been hearing evidence during the trial of the case for a little over two weeks. The terms of the settlement are confidential. The private company offers lodging, rafting and other services in Grand Teton National Park.
John and Elizabeth Rizas, of Beaufort, South Carolina, and Linda Clark, of Shreveport, Louisiana, died when the raft they were riding in hit a snag and ejected them, their guide and nine other passengers into the water on June 2, 2006. The company was responsible for underplaying the danger of river rafting to encourage people to book the trip. All the passengers had signed a form acknowledging that they knew river rafting was inherently dangerous. But the lodge company downplayed the possibility of danger and failed to discuss the implications of river conditions that day.
The National Park Service concluded that the accident was caused by a “change in channel conditions.” But it appears the agency found no sign of recklessness or inattention by the guide. Earlier the judge in the case had granted motions by Vail Resorts Inc., a parent company of the Grand Teton Lodge Co., and Tauck World Discovery, a travel company based in Norwalk, Connecticut, and dismissed them as Defendants.
Source: Associated Press
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