DeKalb parents sue Six Flags, hospitals over death of daughter

A DeKalb County couple is suing Six Flags Over Georgia over the death of their daughter

On July 15, Kimberly and Laurice Freeman filed a wrongful death suit against the park and multiple hospitals, claiming they are responsible for the death of their daughter, 14-year-old Laterrika Freeman, who fell ill after a 2014 visit to the park. The Freemans are represented by Atlanta-area attorney William Bird.

Laterrika was a rising freshman at McEachern High School. The teenager and her sister went to the grand opening of the Hurricane Harbor water park at Six Flags on May 29, 2014. The two girls played in the park's wave pool.

Guests at the park said the wave pool smelled strongly of chlorine, according to the lawsuit filed in DeKalb County State Court. Park attendants "evacuated the wave pool, tested the water, and added additional chemicals." After that, the pool was reopened and Laterrika and other guests reentered. 

Laterrika developed a cough later that evening and had trouble breathing, the suit said. She was taken to multiple hospitals for diagnosis. Laterrika began to "code" after an oxygenation machine she was attached to stopped working. She died at Egleston Children's Hospital on July 18, 2014. 

The Freemans are suing Six Flags for allegedly failing to protect park attendees from dangerous conditions. 

"She developed a problem in her lungs because of the chemicals in the wave pool," Bird said.

The Freemans are also suing hospitals Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston and Scottish Rite for allegedly failing to diagnose and manage Laterrika's condition. Nodson Corporation — the company that produced the oxygenation machine that Laterrika was attached to — is also named in the suit, accused of manufacturing a defective machine. 

In the suit, the Freemans ask for a jury trial and for damages to be awarded as compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and “the full value of the life of their daughter.” 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached out Friday to Six Flags, which was unable to comment on the suit. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta was unable to be reached for comment. 

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