GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — A Baldwin County judge rejected a motion that would have dismissed the ongoing lawsuit against a woman who lawyers claim allowed a driver to participate in the 2017 Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Day Parade and plow an SUV into the Gulf Shores High School Marching Band.
Larry Rathburn, a member of the Gulf Shores Chapter of the American Legion, driving an SUV, was put into the parade lineup behind the marching band, according to a news release from lawyers representing the band.
Rathburn, who was 73 at the time, said he mistook the gas pedal for the brake and ran into the group. Four teenagers were seriously hurt in the wreck while one was flown to a Mobile hospital for treatment. Rathburn was later cleared by a grand jury of any wrongdoing.
Several families are participating in the lawsuit against Bridgette Reynolds, a volunteer for the event. They claim that Reynolds ignored safety protocols and overstepped her authority when she allowed Rathburn to join the parade.
“An event that was supposed to be fun came to a quick and disastrous end because of Ms. Reynolds’ obvious disregard for the band members and others’ safety,” attorney Mike Crow of the Beasley Allen Law Firm said in the release. “We are pleased that our client and other band members can continue seeking justice and accountability through the justice system.”
Baldwin County Circuit Court Judge Scott Taylor rejected a motion for summary judgment. The case will continue.