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Subcontractors testify they warned airport terminal architect, contractors about flight display board issues

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This is the flight status board that fell on the Bresette family. Source: Aaron Lee/WBRC This is the flight status board that fell on the Bresette family. Source: Aaron Lee/WBRC
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Newly released court documents in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Luke Bresette allege the contractor for the Birmingham Airport expansion project knew about safety concerns regarding the flight display two months before it fell on and killed the 10-year-old boy.

In a series of depositions released today, subcontractors working on the flight displays knowns as "MUFIDS" say there is an email chain from subcontractors who were supposed to put these flight display boards together to the contractors and architects saying the boards could be easily pushed over, were top-heavy, and wouldn't be safe to install freestanding as the original plans called for.

On January 7, 2013, contractors from Birmingham-based Monumental Contracting started putting together the first of four flight display boards and immediately had concerns. One of the flight displays or MUFIDS fell on and killed Bresette on March 22, 2013.

According to this court filing released Tuesday, Monumental employees emailed their concerns to other contractors, who emailed the project's architect, KPS Group, and contractors Brasfield & Gorrie and BLOC Global.

Monumental says it told its workers to lay the first flight display board on the ground and not to assembly anymore until this issue was resolved. They even say workers stayed late that night to make sure someone else took control of the one board they had assembled before they left for the day.

Monumental says in this filing that was the last time they had anything to do with these flight boards and allege that Brasfield & Gorrie employees actually ended up installing all four boards without any anchoring, including the one that killed Luke Bresette.

We should note the one board Monumental says it was putting together was not the board that ended up falling onto Luke Bresette.

We reached out to attorneys for Brasfield & Gorrie and KPS for comment.

If you'd like to read these new documents, they're available below, starting with the motion for summary judgement asking the judge in the case to remove Monumental as a defendant. All of these documents will open as PDFs.

Motion to remove Monumental as a defendant.

Deposition from Billy Traywick

Deposition from Tom Killingsworth

Deposition from Chris Swain

Deposition from Josh Aaron

Deposition from Jeff Hart

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