Family sues after boy killed by airport sign - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Family sues after boy killed by airport sign's collapse

BIRMINGHAM, AL (KCTV) -

The Overland Park, KS, family whose 10-year-old son died after an airport sign fell on him filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County, AL on Wednesday. The boy's mother and brother were injured in the tragedy at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

Several construction and engineering companies involved in the remodeling project at the Birmingham airport were named, but the airport was not.

One of the Kansas City area's most prominent attorneys, Tim Dollar, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the family along with Birmingham attorney Jeff Friedman.

On March 22, Ryan and Heather Bresette and their five children were returning from a spring break trip on the Florida Gulf Coast when they were preparing to board a Southwest flight at the Alabama airport. Ryan Bresette was checking his family in while the rest of them waited near a large sign that displayed departures and arrivals.

The sign fell and pinned Heather Bresette and her sons, Tyler, Luke and Samuel. Luke died from his injuries. His mother and brothers suffered serious injuries.

The remodeled airport had just opened and four of the signs were placed throughout the airport. The lawsuit says the design was faulty and defective, and that modifications had made the signs even more unstable.

The lawsuit also alleges that the companies involved knew that the signs were not properly secured or anchored, which "would result in instability and a foreseeable risk of fatal danger to the general public who would be utilizing the airport concourse."

The lawsuit alleges that the construction and design companies discussed that the units were unstable and could hurt someone, but did nothing to remedy the situation even though they knew passengers would stand close to the signs, which were not anchored to the floor, wall or ceiling.

"The Bresette family wishes to express its deep appreciation to the communities of Birmingham, Alabama, Overland Park, Kansas; the greater Kansas City area; and to people across the country for their expressions of love and support in this time of deep sorrow and need," according to a statement issued by Dollar's office.

To honor Luke's memory, the family has created a foundation called "Live Like Luke Foundation."

"Luke lived life to the fullest and his family would like to fund opportunities for other children to reach their full potential," the statement says.

Copyright2013 KCTV (MeredithCorp.)  All rights reserved.

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