Kentucky report blames Six Flags accident on cable fatigue, operator error

Posted Saturday, May 31, 2008 12:07 AM | Contributed by Jason Hammond

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture today said cable fatigue on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom was to blame for the June 21 accident that severed Louisville teenager Kaitlyn Lasitter's feet.

Read more from Business First of Louisville and download the Kentucky Department of Agriculture report.

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Saturday, May 31, 2008 1:10 AM
Six Flags states that they will make sure Kaitlyn is set for the rest of her life. As it should be because they know they screwed up here.

Where I have a problem is that it seems the parents already know this and are going to make sure they are set also. By both quitting their jobs, that looks suspect.

Regardless of the accident, bills still have to be paid (mortgage, taxes, car notes, utilities, etc.)

I just hope her parents don't use this for their financial gain.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 6:28 AM
The parent's quit their jobs right after the accident to care for their child. From another interview I saw, they cashed in all college savings and 401k to support themselves. Good for them, they didn't put themselves in a position to have to make hasty decisions and settle for peanuts; which is what most these corporations rely on in these types cicumstances, low balling a family in need.
Saturday, May 31, 2008 8:48 AM
Is that really responsible for both parents to quit their jobs? At the very least, they would need money coming in while waiting for a settlement from the insurer. And, depending on the jobs, losing any form of health care insurance from an employer is an extremely bad idea. I know I would want to have my health insurance covering all costs for my kids until I was reimbursed by SF. Cashing in their retirements? Also an bad financial move. SF was paying the girl's entire medical costs (and I'm assuming rehab as well?)? Any expenses incurred beyond that as a result of the accident should have been documented and then submitted.

Honestly, it seems like their rush to quit their jobs put them into a even worse situation. And, it gives SF lawyers some wiggle room here as it will cast the parents in a bad light as opportunists looking to cash in on thier daughter's tragedy.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 9:02 AM
Sorry, but you are wrong. I know this family and SF has paid no bills and have given no compensation, period. Do you know what it's like to care for a child that has been through a tragedy as this, Thought not. I personally have witnessed this families recovery and praise them for the way they handled all this. Media and people who think they know everything. Have you paid attention to what this family has been releasing in the local news for us to be educated that this park has been operating like this for years? They put the facts out there about all of this. And if you would not have rushed to quit your job then you are Selfish!
Saturday, May 31, 2008 10:16 AM
Jeff's avatar What the hell are you guys talking about? What parent would not quit their jobs? There's nothing "suspect" about wanting to care for their kid. This isn't like she's going to wake up one day and they'll pull off a Band-Aid, she's going to have years of rehab and probably additional surgery.

They're doing the responsible thing, and frankly there isn't any question at all that they'll be paid big time, as they should be.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 10:54 AM
What the hell am I talking about? I know the parents are going through a difficult time with their daughter.

I am just hoping the parents won't reap the millions that might come in for their own financial gain. Just because she was a minor when it happened, that her parents don't get selfish and support their own cost of living.

What if she was 18? As an adult, the parents wouldn't have a shot at money coming their way if their daughter said so.

Yes, both parents quitting their jobs looks suspicious.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 11:12 AM
WoW! Sounds like we know where your heart and mind would be; Deep in your child's pocket. Enough said. The parents are a very stand up couple who have been together for 22 years. And had enough money well invested early on to protect them...Do you??? Actually who cares!
Saturday, May 31, 2008 11:42 AM
Your response goes both ways. You say I am deep in my child's pocket? My beef about this would say otherwise. I have a 13 year old daughter and I would not take in any money she would receive if she was injured in this fashion.

I am very well invested in my future, and my daughter will get some of the money.

I am not saying that is her parents intention outright. I just hope it's not.

I am not being cold here. I have just heard about parents of children getting big money payouts taking advantage of it.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 12:49 PM
rollergator's avatar When the Lassiters lawyer(s) got the case, I'm sure they took the time to explain to the family that Kaitlyn, and Kaitlyn alone, is their primary responsibility at this point. Not their bills. Let's say the Lassiters were in financial trouble, and both parents had to work two jobs....would that be preferable?

Being able to project a verdict in the family's favor, as is inevitably the case here, means that the legal team will often cover a defendant's expenses in times like this so the family can take care of the injured family member. That's one of the better features of the way our system works.

Whatever compensatory damages result, the Lassiter family will get a significant judgement/settlement (actually, as I understand, they seem pretty committed to seeing this all the way through in the courts, which would mean a judgement in the end). SF, SFKK, and the management of the park, are in no way to be deemed "heartless" for not communicating with the family or offering them any form of assistance. I'm sure that SF's legal team has made that much VERY clear, that any communications could and would severely harm SF's side of the case (which is already in abysmal shape).

What SF really cannot predict and SHOULD be afraid of, even moreso than the compensatory damages, are the potential punitive damages. There's virtually no limit on the amount of money that could result here. It depends to a large degree on how widespread the maintenance problems are company-wide, who knew about those problems, and when. Remember the tobacco lawsuits? We're funding a large portion of our state government off that money....

While I understand what Chi is getting at, virtually AL of the information I've seen points to the family being committed to this for the purpose of bringing all of the relevant (and damning) information to light. I don't think this is any way the kind of situation I believe you're describing (which, tragically, does happen - just not here, from ALL that I've seen and read).

Saturday, May 31, 2008 12:54 PM
Yeh, and how about all the losers who prey on people for their money? Now these people have to make sure whatever their daughter get's, they have to protect her for the rest of her life with all the future medical and prosthetics she will undoubtly need. That in itself seems rather daunting.
Saturday, May 31, 2008 1:04 PM
I might be banned for this but I dont care. Raphael you cant tell me that the parents arent looking to use their daughters money.

I have been through hell when up until 12th grade. 3 comas. two of them my parents were told i would not make it through and would die.

My parents did not quit there jobs to take care of me. they actually worked harder to pay the bills. HEck my parents are still paying bills from this and both working 2 jobs each to do this.

These parents by quiting there jobs are looking to that money.

IF you dont believe me I can pm anybody who asks my medical records.

Yes tsix flags is at fault but with the parents both quiting there jobs they are sitting around and waiting for the money. Bills will need to be paid because if accounting for appeals it could take a while to see any of the money.

With my experience with this type of thing the parents should be concerened for the girls well being first and for most. Quiting both their jobs shows that this is not what they are thinking about.*** This post was edited by majortom1981 5/31/2008 1:15:23 PM ***

Saturday, May 31, 2008 1:36 PM
Man, I'm real sorry your parents had to work through what must have been an extremely difficult time for them, and they must be great people. But why do you assume? You know only your personal experiences to pull from, and maybe what people fill others heads with. Again, it had to be very taxing on your family, but one can't lay blame on people they do not know for choosing to lead their life a certain way and how to spend their own money. I surely would not want to go to work every day and deal with doing a good job whilst my was always on my child. And again they left good careers the same month of the accident after consulting with their banks. Good for them.
Saturday, May 31, 2008 2:14 PM
So then how are they paying for their daughters care ? Since they quit their jobs and Six Flags is not helping out?

My parents did it because nobody else would pay for it. Even the insurance companies didnt pay until a little while later. So basically the parents are waiting for the settlement to come in? Dont take this the wrong way. I am all for the girl but its her parents i dont trust. (besides the medical stuff i have gone through the money part as well with my parents).

Any bank who tells the parents to quit there job is in it for the money.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 2:20 PM
I do hope that Kaitlyn gets the proper amount of money to take care of her medical bills, and money to compensate her for her pain and suffering. But this doesnt mean the WHOLE family is deserving of large amounts of money so they never have to work again. While I can see one family member quitting a job to take care of there daughter, there is no reason that both should quit there jobs, and the injury to there daughter doesnt mean the husband/wife should never have to work again. While there daughter did suffer a major injury, its not so severe that she cant feed/clothe herself which might causae both parents to be needed at home. And with the injury she suffered she will be able to get along in society, which is far different than one who suffers a brain injury is a paraplegic who needs full time medical care/attention in many cases.
With proper medical treatemnt she should be able to lead a regular life and be able to do most anything she has done in the past, and im not saying this to minimize her injury at all, that IS NIT MT INTENT, but that with modern medicine they are able to help people who who suffer major injuries lead much better quality of likves that was possible in the past.
Saturday, May 31, 2008 2:24 PM
Wow! There are definitely two typing in your post, and why are you so pissed? You don't know. They talked to their banks about depositing what their retirement payout was. You are way too angry to know nothing about these people. Sorry you had to have a difficult time through your ordeal. Does that mean everyone should? And the hospitals have postponed payments until the future. Ofcourse SFKK should have been paying for everything. And this was not any of their faults.
Saturday, May 31, 2008 2:57 PM
The thing I dont understand is how they came to the conclusion that anybody can press the estop button in 10 seconds while being in a noisy amusement park setting while worrying about guest on the line and stuff.

The report says they had 10 seconds between when the noise they heard and when the manual says estopping wouldnt work.

I dont think thats a very long time at all .

"The main operator, witnesses,
and the ride patrons in section III have all stated the ride patrons in section III were
yelling to stop the ride. The ride operator gave a statement to the KDA indicating that
training to operate the ride mandated hitting the emergency stop button in the event of
either a loud noise or unusual screaming. Inspectors from the KDA timed the travel of the
passenger car starting at 45 feet from the ground (the approximate position of the loud
noise) and ending during the approximately two second pause at the top of the tower
before the freefall (where depressing the emergency stop function would not have
stopped the ride) as being at least 10 seconds.
In the KDA’s opinion, the injuries to the ride patrons probably would have been limited
to cuts and scrapes had the emergency stop button been pressed, in accordance with
training, during the 10second
window of time between the loud noise followed by the
cable falling and the freefall of the ride."

I dont think they should be blaming the ride op as much as they are. (the park and the chain should be fully to blame)

Saturday, May 31, 2008 3:14 PM
Because those are the responsibilities of ride ops who are trained properly, to handle situations like this.The fact that she was a 16yo drop-out doesn't help. But that is what this park relies on, people who can work for $5.15hr. Certainly a grown person with a family couldn't. I agree it's the whole chain of SF's fault; bad management.
Saturday, May 31, 2008 3:30 PM
If you look at the problem form the stance of people getting min wage, and blame it on the kind of people the attracts, I think it becomes a problem with out society.

We all want top of the line service and products, but don't want to pay a cent more. If SF were to pay there ride ops $12/hr and send them to ride op school for a week so you would have a safer experience, could you imagine the price of admission then?

I am not blamming the ride op here either. Hindsight is always 20/20, and its just to easy here for us to say what they should/shouldn't of done in this extreme situation.*** This post was edited by Gary B 5/31/2008 3:31:34 PM ***

Saturday, May 31, 2008 4:33 PM
It attracts kids and people who can't make more. Do you think they will care to do a good job? Not making that they won't. So your ok with having an unsafe experience? Wow. Doesn't sound very logical. I'll vote for the safer experience.

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