Friday morning, Jefferson County Judge Tom King set a November 3, 2014 trial date for the wrongful death lawsuit involving the death of a child at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
On March 22, 2013, a sign collapsed in a newly renovated portion of the airport, killing 10-year-old Luke Bresette and injuring members of his family. In June, the Bresette family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the various contractors involved in the renovation of the Birmingham Airport. There are nine defendants listed in the lawsuit: Brassfield & Gorrie General Contractors, Bloc Global Services Group KPS Group, KHAFRA Engineering Consultants, A.G. Gaston Construction Company, Saber Construction, Fish Construction, Monumental Contracting Service and Intersystems U.S.A. Incorporated.
The attorneys for the Plaintiffs and Defendants met in Judge King's courtroom Friday morning. The Honorable King said the trial date is non-negotiable because he wanted to finish the trial before he retires. In the hearing, Judge King revealed that he will not seek another term and will step down from the bench in January of 2015.
"This case will have been ongoing for almost 2 years when I retire. And so It should be my responsibility to see this case through to fruition."
With nine defendants listed in the lawsuit, Judge King said many complex issues will arise throughout the case. This is another reason King feels the need to oversee the trial.
"Whoever succeeds me should not have to learn so quickly in such a visible case. An important case."
The attorney representing the Bresette family, Tim Dollar, said they are working hard and will be ready for the November 2014 court date.
"Obviously going through this process is something that we need to do in order to get all parties a fair trial, and as I say present this case to a jury," said Dollar.
Former Federal Judge, U.W. Clemon, is representing KHAFRA Engineering Consultants in this case. Clemon said he's happy to have a firm court date and he's confident they'll be ready.
"We have a firm trial date, and a sufficient time to prepare for the trial, or to seek to convince the plaintiffs that it was not our responsibility that led to the situation we're in here today," said Clemon.