The musician's relatives say the city failed to keep the eight-decade-old landmark ride safe.
Keith Shirasawa took the wild ride on a July day in 2007, fracturing vertebrae on the first 85-foot drop. He died after complications from surgery.
His family, which is suing in Manhattan Federal Court, says the city didn't inspect the ride regularly. Lawyers for the amusement park blamed the accident on a malfunction that caused the Cyclone to drop too fast, and that has since been corrected.
Kate O'Brien Ahlers, a spokeswoman for the city's Law Department, told the Daily News that city officials will review the tragic case thoroughly.