GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — A Baldwin County judge rejected a motion that would have dismissed the ongoing lawsuit against a woman who plaintiff lawyers say allowed a driver to participate in the Feb. 28, 2017 Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Day Parade. That participant went on to plow an SUV into the Gulf Shores High School Marching Band, lawyers for some of the plaintiffs made the announcement in a news release on Wednesday.
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 the release. The plaintiff’s lawyers allege that Bridgette Reynolds, a volunteer for the event, 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,” said Beasley Allen attorney Mike Crow in the news release. “We are pleased that our client and other band members can continue seeking justice and accountability through the justice system.”
Rathburn, who was 73 at the time, said he mistook the gas pedal for the brake. He was later cleared by a grand jury of any wrongdoing. Four teenagers were seriously hurt in the wreck. One was flown to a Mobile hospital for treatment. Several families are participating in the lawsuit against Reynolds.
Baldwin County Circuit Court Judge Scott Taylor rejected a motion for summary judgment. The case will continue.