Documents shed light on flight status cabinet that fell, killed 1

Luke Bresette was killed when this cabinet fell on top of him and his family. Source: WBRC video
Luke Bresette was killed when this cabinet fell on top of him and his family. Source: WBRC video

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - FOX6 News has obtained a series of documents related to the Birmingham airport expansion project. Ten-year-old Luke Bressette was killed March 22 when a flight information display fell on top of him.

FOX6 News filed a series of open records requests several weeks ago and late this afternoon the airport authority's law firm released 18 documents totaling hundreds of pages of status reports and contracts between the airport and its contractor and architect.

From the status reports given to the airport authority board every month, it appears the flight information display cabinet that fell on and killed 10-year old Luke Bresette was installed between December 12 and 26 last year.

The status report doesn't say anything more about inspections, though the city of Birmingham has already told us freestanding cabinets like these aren't required to be inspected under international building codes, including Birmingham's.

The contract between the airport and architect KPS Group requires KPS to carry liability insurance of up to $2 million per injury for injuries that are proven to be the result of faulty design or negligence on the architect's part.

KPS is also required in the contract to provide a notice to the airport authority in writing of any faults or defects in the project. And KPS also agreed to hold the airport harmless and pay its attorney's fees if KPS is proven to have acted negligently on the project.

The project's contractors, Brasfield & Gorrie/BLOC have a similar clause in their contract requiring them to hold the airport harmless if any injury is proven to be the fault of the contractor or subcontractors.

What FOX6 News reporter Jonathan Hardison didn't see in this batch of documents are the design specifications for the flight information cabinets but the airport authority released a statement Wednesday saying some of the documents the media has been asking for are held by the Brasfield & Gorrie/BLOC and KPS Group, and encourages those firms to turn them over to the media.

The airport authority has said before that they believe some of the project's contractors had concerns about those cabinets before or after they were installed, but didn't tell anyone at the airport until after the accident.

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