Mile-Hi Sky­div­ing rul­ing up­held

Colorado Court of Ap­peals sides with com­pany about noise.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Daily Cam­era

Af­ter a lit­tle more than a week of de­lib­er­at­ing, the Colorado Court of Ap­peals on Thurs­day sided with Mile-Hi Sky­div­ing over Cit­i­zens for Quiet Skies in an ap­peal of a law­suit over Longmont air­plane noise de­cided last year.

The Cit­i­zens for Quiet Skies group and some in­di­vid­ual mem­bers liv­ing in Longmont and un­in­cor­po­rated Boul­der County claim that Mile-Hi owner Frank Casares was be­ing neg­li­gent and a nui­sance by flying what they said were un­usu­ally loud planes over their homes.

In 2015, Boul­der District Court Judge Ju­dith LaBuda de­nied ev­ery claim brought by the plain­tiffs and made a spe­cial ap­peal in the judg­ment ask­ing all par­ties to move on from the mat­ter.

Later that year, how­ever, the plain­tiffs and Cit­i­zens For Quiet Skies founder Kim­berly Gibbs filed an ap­peal. At­tor­neys for the plain­tiffs and the de­fen­dant ar­gued their side of the case be­fore the Colorado Court of Ap­peals on Dec. 13.

Matthew Osof­sky, the at­tor­ney for plain­tiffs Kim­berly Gibbs and the cit­i­zens group, tried to make the case that the fed­eral 65deci­bel day-night limit isn’t a limit at all, but rather a guide­line for fed­eral fund­ing. Just be­cause the planes didn’t ex­ceed that limit didn’t mean they weren’t both­er­some to the res­i­dents, Osof­sky said.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Osof­sky ar­gued that LaBuda erred when she awarded Mile-Hi more than $120,000 in costs and fees over three sep­a­rate judg­ments.

Anthony Lef­fert, Casares’ at­tor­ney, re­but­ted that the fed­eral 65-deci­bel day-night limit is in fact ap­pli­ca­ble and that Mile-Hi is fol­low­ing ev­ery noise rule and reg­u­la­tion that’s ap­pli­ca­ble to them.

Lef­fert said the fees LaBuda awarded were jus­ti­fied be­cause the plain­tiffs’ case was flimsy from the start.

The Court of Ap­peals ul­ti­mately sided al­most en­tirely with Lef­fert, up­hold­ing LaBuda’s de­ci­sions.

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