L.K., his wife and young daughter headed to Granby for an evening of tubing and hot chocolate at the Granby Tubing Hill on March 2, 2013. L.K.n had gone tubing and sledding before and was excited to try a new hill. The Granby Tubing Hill consists of a lift, three downhill tubing lanes, and a run-out area (man-made barrier at the end of the run made up of blue padding connected with cable or wires) to help decelerate tubers.
L.K. was chest down, face forward on his tube. It would be the only time he would go down this run and the last time he would ever go tubing.
As he reached the end of the run, he collided head first with the man-made barrier. He became entangled in the cabling behind the external padding and cushioning. He instantly felt numbness throughout his body and was unable to move his upper or lower limbs. He had suffered a severe spinal cord injury with cervical fractures which caused quadriplegia. He was taken to an acute care clinic and then transported to Denver Health Medical Center for immediate surgical repair of his cervical fractures. Eleven days later, he was moved to Craig Hospital for long-term acute care and neuro-rehabilitation for over a month.
He was diagnosed as a C4 quadriplegic with a C5 facet fracture (on the backside of the vertebrae), C5-6 misalignment, and a Grade 4 vertebral artery blunt injury. L.K. incurred serious medical bills. His month and a half stay at Craig Hospital alone was $502,776.65. As of February 2014, his medical bills totaled: $1,164,716.00. A month after the incident L.K. stepped down from his position as an engineer due to his physical limitations. The family was suffering from present (and future) economic losses (medical expenses and loss of future income), a loss of consortium, and permanent impairment.
The case was settled by Russell Hatten for a confidential amount during mediation. Settlement papers were signed in 2015, nearly two years after the accident. The agreement included an annuity to be paid monthly beginning in 2020.