Parents of minor killed in Christmas parade seek $3M from Beaumont Chamber

David Yates Jul. 19, 2011, 4:13am

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the damage amount as $300 million instead of $3 million. We apologize for the error.

The parents of Aaliyah Carter, who died during a 2008 Christmas parade, amended their suit against the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce to include a dollar amount for damages: $3 million.

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.

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

On June 27 the Carters amended their petition to include the maximum damage amount they seek from the Chamber.

The petition states $3 million is needed to compensate the Carters for their mental anguish and daughter's funeral expenses.

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.

The Carters 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

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