Lawsuit filed regarding child’s death after Alabama airport sign falls on family

by Jay Pate

Ten-year-old Luke Bresette was killed and three other members of his family were injured in as they were returning home from a spring break vacation. A large cabinet with screens listing arrivals and departures in a new terminal at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport fell on them. The sign weighed between 300 and 400 pounds.

Heather Bresette suffered a cracked pelvis, head injuries, two ankle fractures and a tibia fracture. Samuel Bresette, 8, had a fractured leg and facial injuries. Tyler Bresette, 5, had a closed head injury.

The family has recently filed a lawsuit against several contractors, designers and construction companies alleging that the sign was unstable and defendants knew it was unstable. Obviously, airport visitors would be standing near the cabinet to read flight information. According to the lawsuit, the defendants had numerous conversations about their concerns.

The lawsuit alleges that the base of the first new cabinet to be installed was screwed into the concrete floor and that efforts were made to secure the second and third cabinets to the wall, ceiling or floor. But the fourth cabinet — the one that fell on the Bresette family — was left freestanding without any anchors to the floor, wall or ceiling, according to the lawsuit.

To successfully pursue a premises liability lawsuit, clients need an experienced, educated attorney on their side. Heygood, Orr & Pearson is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

Clients also need an attorney with the financial resources to take the case to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have tried literally hundreds of cases to verdict and have settled hundreds more. In 2010 alone, we negotiated settlements of personal injury and wrongful death claims totaling more than $50 million. Heygood, Orr & Pearson also has the financial resources to handle personal injury cases from beginning to end. In fact, there are many instances when we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case in order to take it to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

If you believe you or a loved has been seriously injured and you feel it may have been the result of someone’s negligence, contact us for a free consultation by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 or by filling out the free consultation form on this page to find out more about your legal options.


Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2013.

by Jay Pate

John “Jay” Pate is a licensed attorney who focuses his practice on complex tort litigation involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.