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Judge: No early trial over teen's severed feet

LOUISVILLE — A judge has denied a request to expedite a civil trial against an amusement park in Louisville where a teenager's feet were severed when a ride malfunctioned. The family of 14-year-old Kaitlyn Lasitter sought an earlier trial date in their lawsuit against Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. The trial is set for Jan. 12, 2010.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Barry Willett said in a ruling issued Thursday that the date is reasonable due to the complexity of the case and the amount of pretrial work ahead for attorneys.

Willett also ordered that the parties meet to attempt to resolve the claims through mediation sometime before the final pretrial conference scheduled in November 2009.

Willett set aside 30 days for the trial.

Larry Franklin, an attorney for the Lasitters, said he wanted an earlier trial date because the family needed funds to pay for Kaitlyn's rehabilitation. He said he could be ready for trial in March or April.

Six Flags was pleased with the ruling on Friday. "We agree with Judge Willet that it is important for both sides to have sufficient time to review all the facts regarding last year's tragic accident ... ," Carolyn McLean, a Six Flags spokeswoman, said in a statement Friday.

Cables on the Superman Tower of Power ride snapped on June 21, 2007, shearing off Kaitlyn's feet. The ride, which has since been dismantled, ascended several stories before dropping riders at high speeds.