Kaitlyn Lassiter, then a 13-year-old, was riding the Superman Tower of Power at the amusement park in July 2007. The ride lifts people up more than 170 feet, and then drops them at a speed of 50 mph. On the day that Kaitlyn was riding the Tower of Power with her friends, something went horribly wrong with the functioning of the ride. A cable snapped, and wound itself around the girl's legs. It took a while before the ride operator realized what was happening and shut the ride down. By then, the damage had been done. Both of Kaitlyn's feet were severed. Surgeons later re-attached one foot, although she has been warned by doctors to expect surgery every few years on the attached foot. She wears a prosthetic foot on her other leg.
In the months since the accident on the ride, Kaitlyn's family has been put through an excruciating ordeal. The teenager, now a 14-year-old girl, tearfully admitted to a news channel that her life had changed dramatically. Her social life had disappeared, and she remained fearful for her life and safety at all times. Even simple things like stepping into an elevator were filled with tension and fear. A day of thrills at the amusement park turned into a long-term tragedy that no one could have expected.
The Lassiter family filed a lawsuit citing negligence on the part of Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom last year, and the case was supposed to go to trial next year. Now, reports confirm that there has been an out-of-court settlement, although the amount of damages has not been revealed. According to a spokesperson at the park, the settlement will take care of Kaitlyn's care needs for the rest of her life.
The settlement might be able to take care of the health needs of this young girl, and the surgeries she's expected to continue to need over her lifetime, but there couldn’t be a settlement that could compensate for the kind of trauma she has already suffered, and the struggles she will continue to face. This is a beautiful, vibrant girl, only thirteen at the time of the accident, who has been forced into a life that promises to be full of more struggles ahead. Kaitlyn herself admits her life will never be the same as it was before the tragedy. That's a horrible truth for a fourteen-year-old to face up to. The negligence of the people in charge at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, and their failure to maintain their amusement ride equipment properly have taken away too much from Kaitlyn’s life for a settlement to compensate.
Previous attempts at a settlement had failed because park authorities offered a paltry amount to the Lassiter family. We hope the amputation settlement is at least sufficient to cover her medical bills and her future medical needs.
The Reeves Law Group is a law firm with offices throughout California dedicated exclusively to the representation of personal injury victims, including victims of amputation accidents. Please visit our website at robertreeveslaw.com. If you desire a free consultation on a personal injury matter, please call us at (800) 644-8000 or email us.