Authorities have said 19-year-old Cooper Larsh suffocated after falling head first into deep snow at the city-operated Howelsen Hill Ski Area in 2011.
The city maintains Larsh had entered an area that was closed, but his mother, Maureen Ryan, is challenging whether the area was properly marked.
Larsh was a freshman at College of Wooster but had gone to Colorado for spring break. His mother lives in Boulder County in Colorado.
The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports that an evidentiary hearing is set to start Thursday to decide whether the city is immune from the lawsuit under Colorado law.
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