Mile-Hi Skydiving ruling upheld
Colorado Court of Appeals sides with company about noise.
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.