Posted Sunday, September 21, 2008 11:34 PM | Contributed by metallik
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 Kaitlyn Lasitter sought an earlier trial date in their lawsuit against Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. The trial is set for Jan. 12, 2010.
Read more from AP via The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Now that I've thought about it, I think this is absolute crap. I also think that the family's desire to go to trial isn't helping. There's little doubt that Six Flags' insurers have offered to write a check, but that's obviously at odds with the family's desire to win and have the freedom to openly talk about safety issues.
But 20 months to prepare for trial? Seems to me the case isn't that "complex."
The lawyers popably think that if they wait, they can outlast the family, they'll settle.
they probably want to test ANYTHING related to the ride to see if it was a factor. Maybe the paint was applied to thickly and caused the cable to chafe.
On the other hand, you would think that if their intent is to keep this thing going as long as possible in the media, then the long delay before trial actually can work to the family's advantage. The downside is that the settlement check takes a whole lot longer to arrive. But if that isn't a major concern, the delay means more time to draw attention to the case...
It does work both ways.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
This decision is entirely in keeping with the timelines for civil suits.
It appears the judge is tellling the two sides to work this out with arbitration rather than go to trial.
And someone should tell that clown Markey to keep out of it. There he is once again showing up for a photo op. I wonder if he's egging the family on to sue for big bucks. I thought his constituents were in Massachusetts, not Kentucky. I don't care what his pet project is-- if he were my rep and was traipsing his ass all over every other state, I'd vote him out of office.
This is a common tactic by big companies. Big tobacco has done this countless times. It's a wearing down process. They hope the family gets sick of waiting and all the drama so they settle. I hope they stand their ground. Why shouldn't they be able to talk about this?
I've been an attorney for 25 years and I can confirm there is nothing out of line about the timelines in this case. This is a case requiring substantial discovery, and a thirty day trial (YIKES!) will take a horrendous amount of time to prep for.
^Other lawyer friends have said the same thing, BB. The amount of discovery is fairly sizable. For instance, this extremely pertinent question was posed here on 'Buzz: Did SF request the specific cable in question, or did the supplier have the specs from Intamin via SF, and fail to provide the appropriate cable for the ride? Another one: How reasonable are the maintenance requirements in the Intamin ride manual?
I can see your point about the discovery issue. I am a full believer in everyone's right to properly defend themselves in court, which seems to be more difficult everyday (at least in criminal court). However, it's not like this was just dumped on them in the past month. The mere fact a tragic accident happened would make me think they would start preparing to defend themselves from the moment it happened. There's always things that may come up that their defense did not think about. The timetable may be dead on and I have no reason to dispute your knowledge in this but perhaps that's part of the problem for all lawsuits. Nothing moves slower than the court system and it's emotionaly taxing on the injured parties.Last edited by Winston, Saturday, September 27, 2008 7:45 PM
The time to trial doesn't surprise me. I just served last week on a jury that included homicide charges (12 charges total) that took place a year and half ago. They told us during the selection process that in our county, they have 6, 2 week trial periods per year. That's only 12 weeks out of 52. They also said that most trials take 2 - 3 days (mine took 5) so they aren't cranking out very many trial cases a year.
Most cases do get settled before they go to trial. I was on the second week of jury duty. At the beginning of the first week, there were 370+ criminal cases and 37 civil cases. At the beginning of my week, they were down to 136 criminal and 7 civil. By the time they were ready to pick juries at 10:30 am Monday, there were 70+ criminal and no civil.
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