Canadian family threatens lawsuit over ski cross racer's death

Wed Mar 6, 2013 4:10pm EST
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - The family of Canadian ski cross racer Nik Zoricic has threatened to sue the International Ski Federation (FIS) and Alpine Canada if they refuse to launch an independent investigation into his death by mid-June.

Zoricic died last March after suffering fatal head injuries when he crashed near the finish area during a World Cup race in Grindelwald, Switzerland, and the lawyer representing his family dismissed an inquiry by Swiss authorities as "incompetent."

Tim Danson said FIS and Alpine Canada have until June 15 to undertake an investigation or face legal action the next day.

"FIS and Alpine Canada can either choose to be part of the process - part of the solution - or they can continue to bury their heads in the snow," Danson said during a news conference on Wednesday alongside Zoricic's father, mother and sister.

"We are bending over backwards to avoid such an outcome, but the resolve of the Zoricic family to honor and protect their son's memory should not be underestimated."

The FIS has no immediate plans to launch an investigation.

"The police report is the basis for the state prosecutor to decide whether any persons shall be charged and brought to court because of negligent homicide," FIS said in a statement.

"The report says that the accident was not caused by a fault of any person. However the state prosecutor has not issued his decision yet and until this time we have no further comment to the investigation carried out by the state here in Switzerland."   Continued...