Widow Sues Rafting Company After Her Husband Died During a Rafting Trip
Allison Parker, whose husband was killed during a commercial rafting trip down the Roaring Fork River, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Aspen Whitewater Rafting, accusing the company of misrepresenting the risk of running rapids called “Slaughterhouse.”
The couple took a trip to Aspen in June 2016 for the Food & Wine Classic and found out about Aspen Whitewater’s rafting trip through their website. The company described the rafting trip as being appropriate for beginners, so they decided to give it a try.
On June 15, 2016, Parker and her husband James Abromitis took the rafting trip. The river was running at more than 2,000 cubic feet per second that day, which is considered dangerous.
When the raft approached the Jame Bond rapid, the guide told customers to paddle inwards and then into a hydraulic at the top of the rapid. That’s when the trip took a tragic turn. The raft got caught up in a large hole and kept spinning around and around until Abromitis was thrown off the raft. He spun in circles under the raft and then was flushed out downstream. After being carried several hundred feet, he was washed up into a small eddy.
Two other customers struggled to pull Abromitis back into the raft. When they finally did, the raft encountered another problem. A large tree fell into river, which created an impassible obstruction that overturned the raft. The guide was able to save himself by climbing onto a tree, but he didn’t help the others.
“His customers were all thrown into the river, including James Abromitis who had been in the raft less than 10 seconds before being thrown back into the river again,” the lawsuit says. “Mr. Abromitis was flushed down river through the next rapid while the raft guide stood on the tree watching him disappear. James Abromitis died minutes later from drowning and cardiac arrest, with high water and cold water identified as contributing factors.”
According to the lawsuit, Aspen Whitewater’s description of the rafting trip contradicted a guidebook on Colorado rivers that said Slaughterhouse was only for experts.
“As the direct and proximate result of the acts and omissions of Aspen Whitewater, James Abromitis suffered a tragic, prolonged, and avoidable wrongful death,” the lawsuit says.
Parker is seeking more than $75,000 in damages from the lawsuit.
If one of your loved ones has suffered from a wrongful death, it may be in your best interest to reach out to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for your free consultation.