Man sues Lagoon, says his foot was ‘shredded’ while riding a roller coaster

Paraplegic says he couldn’t feel that his foot wasn’t properly restrained.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lagoon Amusement Park visitors ride The Roller Coaster, Monday, June 15, 2020.

A man is suing Lagoon Amusement Park after his foot was injured while riding the Wicked roller coaster, according to court documents filed Thursday in Davis County’s 3rd District Court.

On Oct. 10, 2020, Matthew Christensen went to Lagoon with his wife, son and a family friend. Christensen is paralyzed from the waist down and was navigating the park in a wheelchair.

Christensen’s son and friend transferred him from his wheelchair onto the ride. The lap restraint on the ride secured correctly, but the lawsuit alleges that Christensen’s right leg was not secured properly by the leg restraint.

Because of his paraplegia, Christensen couldn’t feel that his foot wasn’t properly restrained, and it dangled below the level of the car’s floor during the ride, according to court filings. There are two inches of space between the walking platforms that line both sides of the track at the loading and unloading station and the coaster car.

When Christensen’s car returned to the station, his foot struck the walkway and got caught in the gap as the car moved forward to the station, court documents state. Christensen’s foot turned outward and was “shredded.”

Filings also state that Christensen fractured his fibula and tibia in his lower leg, his toe and two other bones in his foot. He also “irreparably shredded a ligament in his big toe” and suffered “gashes to his foot.”

The amount of damages Christensen is suing for would be determined during the trial. He is being represented by William Hansen and Anna Christiansen of Salt Lake City-based law firm Christensen and Jensen.

Lagoon Amusement Park did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment.