The Associated Press reported "NY Skier's Heirs File Claim Against Idaho Rescuers" that the Teton County Sheriff's Department, Teton County and Idaho Search and Rescue, with others, apparently were too slow in locating and retrieving a skier who had gotten lost outside the bounds of the resort where he was skiing.
These events happened last year to a 46 year old man, who while successful using his cell phone to call for help, eventually succumbed to hypothermia after being found.
As in any alleged sports or recreation wrongful death matter, one has to consider the defense of "assumed risk". A participant "engaging in a sport or recreational activity... consents to those commonly appreciated risks which are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation".
The plaintiffs claim that the resort's boundaries were not clearly or adequately marked, and that Idaho rescuers failed to communicate with Wyoming rescuers trying to locate the man.
Without knowing more, and because these matters are very "fact driven", I am skeptical about the viability of this suit [seeking $5 million].
The decedent went skiing (alone?) in a remote area. He strayed from the trail. Did he appreciate the risk of getting lost? He had a cell phone and was able to use it. We do not know if he was an experienced skier and if he was properly clothed and equipped for survival in the mountains and the weather.
Presumably all the rescuers did their best to reach him in time.
As a public policy issue, I would not be in favor of charging rescuers with liabillity unless their failure to perform properly was "grossly negligent".