Beaumont Chamber says parents responsible for girl's safety in 2008 Christmas parade

David Yates Apr. 26, 2011, 5:54am

File photo from previous Christmas Parade.

The Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce recently amended its answer in a wrongful death lawsuit to say the parents of Aaliyah Carter, who died two years ago during a Christmas parade, "failed to properly supervise" their child.

On Nov. 9, the Southeast Texas Record reported that Albert and Stephanie Carter filed suit against the Beaumont Chamber in Jefferson County District Court.

A month later, the Beaumont Chamber responded to the suit, asserting a general denial of any negligence on its part.

However, on April 15 the Beaumont Chamber amended its answer to say "the accident was caused by" the Carters.

"Defendant would show that the accident was caused by the acts and or omissions of plaintiffs, Albert and Stephanie Carter, in failing to properly supervise the decedent," the amended answer states.

Aaliyah, 11 years old at the time of the incident, was killed during a Beaumont Christmas parade on Dec. 6, 2008. She had been aboard a float sponsored by the Beaumont I-Rule Dance Studio.

According to the Beaumont Enterprise, witnesses told Beaumont police that Aaliyah jumped off the 21-foot lowboy trailer float and had been running along beside it when she tripped over another young girl and fell.

The driver was unaware that she had fallen in the road and the wheels of the trailer ran over her, causing severe head trauma.

Aaliyah was taken to Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth, where she was pronounced dead, the article states.

The Carters assert in their suit that the Beaumont Chamber sponsored and managed the 2008 Christmas Holiday Festival & Parade and therefore is responsible for the events that transpired.

However, the suit fails to list a single specific act of negligence committed by the Beaumont Chamber.

The Carters are suing for exemplary damages, plus past and future mental anguish and loss of consortium.

They are represented by Houston attorney Michael Howard.

Houston attorney Tracey Burridge represents the Beaumont Chamber.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the case.

The Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce is an accredited member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Southeast Texas Record is owned by the Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber. The Record has no direct affiliation with the Beaumont Chamber.

Case No. A188-767

More News