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Attorney Seeks To Add Two Teens To Amusement Park Suit

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Attorneys for a teenager whose feet were
severed on an amusement park ride last summer want to add two of her friends to a lawsuit against the park.
Blair Johnson and Arin Valsted, both of Louisville, suffered injuries and emotional trauma when a cable on the Superman Tower of Power ride broke at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom on June 21, cutting off 14-year-old Kaitlyn Lasitter's legs, attorney Jennifer Barbour said Wednesday.
Barbour, whose firm represents the Lasitter family, filed a motion in Jefferson Circuit Court on Wednesday to add the girls to the suit. They were riding with Lasitter when the accident happened.
Kentucky Kingdom's attorney, Michael Valenti, opposed the motion. Valenti said Kentucky law doesn't allow parents to sue for loss of consortium - in this case, a loss of the normal companionship of the children - in cases involving an injured juvenile.
"The law in Kentucky is very clear, very straightforward," Valenti said.
Jefferson Circuit Judge Barry Willett took the motion under advisement but did not say when he will rule.
When the cables snapped, Lasitter's legs were cut off just below
the knees. Doctors reattached her right foot, but she had to have some of her left leg amputated and subsequent surgeries.
Depositions and statements filed in the lawsuit said Johnson and
Valsted suffered cuts and bruises.
Valenti said Kentucky Kingdom has paid $6,059 for Valsted and her family to undergo medical treatment and psychological counseling since the accident. Johnson's family has received $3,100 for medical treatment and counseling, Valenti said.
Barbour said both girls and their families should be allowed to seek damages for their injuries, as well as the time and money spent traveling to see Lasitter while she was hospitalized in Nashville, Tenn.
"There will be ongoing psychological care for both of these girls. Whether Kentucky Kingdom will continue to pay for that, I do not know that," Barbour said. "These girls visited Kaitlyn in Nashville as often as possible to make sure she was going to survive."
State officials blame a faulty cable and slow response by an
amusement park ride operator in the accident.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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