The parents of a cheerleader injured during Richmond Hill High School’s 2015 homecoming parade have sued the school district and several people involved with the cheerleading program.
John and Michelle Fortner filed the suit July 20 in Chatham County State Court on behalf of their daughter Jayden. Bryan County Schools Superintendent Paul Brooksher said he could not comment on pending litigation. Lloyd Murray Sr., representing the Fortners, was not available for comment, particularly on why the suit was filed in Chatham County instead of Bryan County.
The suit says that during the parade on Oct. 22, 2015, several cheerleaders were instructed by the adults in charge to sit on a trailer being pulled behind a Dodge Ram pickup truck with their legs and feet hanging off the side. The Fortners say that as the parade approached the football field at the school, Jayden’s right foot got caught in the back tire of the trailer. She was a freshman at the time.
The suit says the defendants who were supervising the cheerleaders did not notice Jayden’s foot was stuck and the vehicle traveled another 20 to 30 feet.
The suit goes on to say Jayden “sustained serious and substantial injuries, permanent impairment, past and future medical bills, and past, present and future physical and mental pain and suffering” and that her injuries are “permanent in nature, resulting in certain physical impairments.”
She was transported to the hospital following the incident and underwent surgery.
The suit asks for a jury trial and that the “plaintiffs be awarded an appropriate sum to compensate for their minor child’s injuries and damages.”