An Ascension Parish woman has filed a lawsuit against Cajun Lagoon water park near Denham Springs, saying her 16-year-old son impaled his foot on a metal spike holding a tarp at the bottom of the park’s lake.
Dana Montgomery also alleges that water park workers tried to cut off part of the tarp to free her son, Cain Lee Freeman, but that it only made the pain worse.
Montgomery alleges in her lawsuit, filed Monday in 21st Judicial District Court in Livingston Parish, that her son still suffers mental distress from the incident.
The lawsuit says Freeman went to the park June 12 with his aunt, Amber Hill, and Hill’s friend, Celeste Jeffers, along with Hill’s and Jeffers’ daughters.
Freeman was walking in chest-deep water in the lake when he slipped and put his right foot down to keep his balance.
The bottom of the lagoon is lined with a tarp, which is held to the bottom using U-shaped metal spikes known as “ground staples,” the lawsuit says.
Freeman stepped on one of the ground staples, which went completely through his foot.
Freeman could not free his foot from the ground staple. A female manager came out with scissors to cut the tarp around the boy’s foot, but the effort was unsuccessful and only caused more harm, the lawsuit alleges.
Firefighters and medical personnel arrived on scene about 45 to 60 minutes later. The first responders finally freed him after several attempts, but the metal spike was still stuck in his foot.
Freeman was taken to a Baton Rouge hospital to have the spike removed and his foot assessed.
Freeman went to his regular physician for follow-up visits, but his condition failed to improve, the lawsuit says. He also has been seeing an orthopedist.
Freeman still suffers extreme tenderness, swelling and stiffness in his right foot and lower extremity, along with emotional and mental distress, the lawsuit says.
The suit claims Cajun Lagoon workers negligently installed the tarp and ground staples and failed to discover the defect in the ground staple or properly warn patrons about the staples.
The suit claims the spike came loose or broke and then Freeman stepped on it.
Montgomery seeks damages from Cajun Lagoon and Lloyd’s of London, which serves as an underwriter for International Special Events and Recreation Association Inc., the water park’s insurance company.
Attorney Charest Thibaut III, of Baton Rouge, filed the suit on behalf of Montgomery.
Jason Ray, one of the park’s managers, declined comment Friday when asked about the lawsuit.
The lawsuit comes to light after a 14-year-old boy drowned at the water park back in July.
Nick Kissner, of Port Allen, drowned July 30 at the park, located off La. 16 between Denham Springs and Watson.
Livingston Parish District 5 firefighters and Sheriff’s Office deputies were called around 1 p.m. about the drowning. Medical personnel tried to revive the youth but were unsuccessful.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office recently completed its investigation into the drowning and found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lori Steele has said.
Ray also declined comment Friday when asked about the Sheriff’s Office’s findings.
Cajun Lagoon, 32347 La. 16 near Arnold Road, features a man-made lake and offers swimming, water slides and volleyball, among other aquatic activities.
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