2 teens to join suit over severed feet

LOUISVILLE — A judge has ruled that two teenagers can join a lawsuit against Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom involving an accident last summer that severed a girl's feet at the amusement park.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Barry Willett ruled Friday that Blair Johnson and Arin Valsted, both of Louisville, may join the case filed by the parents of Kaitlyn Lasitter, 14.

The Courier-Journal reported on its Web site that Willett denied a request from the parents of the two teens to join the suit in connection with the accident June 21, 2007.

The parents were seeking damages for emotional distress and travel expenses for providing for their children's care. But Willett said state law does not allow the parents to sue in this case.

An attorney for Johnson and Valsted said the teens, who were riding with Lasitter when the ride malfunctioned, suffered cuts and bruises and have required ongoing psychological counseling.

Attorneys have until Sept. 1 to respond to the judge's ruling.

Lasitter's feet were cut off above the ankles when a cable broke on the Superman Tower of Power ride. Doctors reattached her right foot, but she had to have some of her left leg amputated and more surgeries later.

The ride has been dismantled. State officials blamed the accident on a faulty cable and slow response by an amusement park ride operator.

A Jan. 5, 2010, trial date has been set.