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Steamboat Jury Recognizes the Value of the Steamboat Lifestyle

In March 2009, Steamboat Springs resident Wayne Ranieri was seriously injured when a car, not paying appropriate attention to the road, cut into his lane and crashed head on into him. Steamboat Today reporting the incident explained:

Wayne Ranieri, an agent at Steamboat Village Brokers and married father of four, was listed in fair condition at Yampa Valley Medical Center on Monday after being hit while cycling near Lake Catamount on Thursday. Routt County Sheriff's Office records indicate that Kathy Whaley was cited for careless driving resulting in injury for her role in the accident. A phone message left for Whaley was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Wayne Ranieri's wife, Julie, said her husband underwent surgery Friday and has spinal surgery scheduled for Wednesday.

"We don't know how he's going to be," Julie Ranieri said, "so we're just asking for everybody's prayers."

Late Friday, a Routt County District jury in Steamboat Springs awarded verdicts totaling nearly $2.4 million in favor of Wayne and Julie Ranieri for injuries the Ranieri's suffered as a result of this incident. The Ranieri's attorney, Jim Heckbert of Purvis Gray, LLP, told the jury, "I don't know that a Routt County jury has ever had the opportunity to place a value on the lifestyle we enjoy here. Wayne represents that lifestyle, and what it means, as well as anyone. Wayne's loss of his ability to enjoy his athletic activities is what makes his injury so severe."

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