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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
November 19, 2007

No. 07SA201. In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2007–2008, #17 (New State Department and Elected Board for Environmental Conservation): Kemper v. Hamilton.
Colo. Const. Art. V, § 1(5.5)—Initiative—Appeal of Title Board Action—CRS § 1-40-107(2)—Single Subject —Multiple Subjects—Voter Surprise and Confusion—CRS § 1-40-106.5(1)(2)—Environmental Conservation—Public Trust Standard.

The Title Board set the title, ballot title, and submission clause for proposed Initiative 2007–2008, # 17, entitled "New State Department and Elected Board for Environmental Conservation." The Colorado Supreme Court reverses the action of the Title Board in setting the title, ballot title, and submission clause.

The Court holds that the Initiative violates the single subject requirement of Colorado Constitution article V, § 1(5.5). It determines that the Initiative proposes a public trust standard and creates a new executive department of state government, and that these are multiple subjects under the precedent of In re Proposed Initiative "Public Rights in Waters II," 898 P.2d 1076 (Colo. 1995). Accordingly, the Court reverses the action of the Title Board and remands the case with directions to strike the titles and return the initiative to its proponents.

No. 07SA65. Stamp v. Vail Corporation.
Skiing-Related Wrongful Death Claims—Ski Safety Act—Wrongful Death Act—Recovery of Compensatory Damages—Motion to Amend Complaint—Compensatory Damages.

The Colorado Supreme Court holds that recovery of compensatory damages in a skiing-related wrongful death action is limited to $250,000 under § 33-44-113 of the Ski Safety Act. The Court also holds that the felonious killing exception, which is contained in § 13-21-203(1)(a) of the Wrongful Death Act and which provides for unlimited compensatory damages, does not apply to skiing-related wrongful death claims. The Court rules that because petitioners’ amended complaint satisfies the burden of proof set forth in § 13-21-203(3) of the Wrongful Death Act, the trial court erred when it denied petitioners’ motion to amend their complaint to add a claim for exemplary damages. The rule to show cause is discharged in part and made absolute in part.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions