I also wonder if timing has to do with start of a new season. My bet is that they're banking on Vail Resort wanting to avoid bad press and agreeing to settle out of court.
This lawsuit was filed a long time ago (relatively speaking). It was not just filed a month before ski season. As we all know, the wheels of justice turn slowly. It is happenstance that the depositions have now become available.
While I feel that a resort should not be required to entirely rope off and that if you hike above a gate you are responsible for your actions, I am also concerned about the potential discrepencies with the ski patrollers initial reports and their depositions. Was that because they were supposed to do something and didn't and initially were trying to cover their actions (which is an understandable human behavior) or was it pressure from Vail to cover its inactions.
So if Vail/patrollers did close the upper gate but didn't do any avalanche mitigation, were they worried they might be sued and thus lied in the initial report. Or is this there more to the potential discrepencies.
One thing I will say is never to jump to conclusions on lawsuits. Many on this board immediately thought this case was baseless and the family was just looking for money or "justice" for the loss of their son. These depositions show there might be some negligance on Vail's part. Wait till the trial before jumping to conclusions or at least be open minded enough that when everything is presented, you are willing to change your mind.