Father sues stepfather for daughter's death

David Yates May 20, 2008, 8:00am

A bereaved father is suing a local resident he claims acted with a blatant disregard for the welfare of others and created a dangerous condition on his premises, which allegedly was the cause of his daughter's death.

The suit, brought forward by George Harris on behalf of Alyssa Harris, was filed against William B. Fratus on May 16 in the Jefferson County District Court.

The suit does not state how Alyssa died. The suit only states her death was negligently caused on July 14, 2006, by a dangerous condition at Fratus' Beaumont home. The suit does not state Fratus' relationship with Alyssa.

However, Alyssa's obituary, found on the Hardin County News Web site, says she was 15 years old at the time of her death and that Bill Fratus was her stepfather.

Alyssa's father lived in Silsbee while her mother lived in Beaumont with Fratus, according to the obituary.

"Plaintiff would show that Alyssa died as the result of the negligence of William B. Fratus, which occurred on or about July 14, 2006, in Beaumont," the suit says. "As a direct and proximate cause of the Defendant's negligence and the dangerous condition he created on his premises, Alyssa died."

In his suit, Harris says he is entitled to recover punitive and exemplary damages from Fratus as a means to punish him for acting with a blatant disregard for the welfare and safety of his daughter.

He is also suing for past and future loss of companionship, mental anguish, and pecuniary loss.

Harris is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Christopher Kirchmer.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E181-763

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