Hutto Wrongful Death Suit Settled Out of Court

A wrongful death civil lawsuit has been settled with the Hutto Chamber of Commerce. The suit was filed against the city of Hutto, the Chamber of Commerce, the Hutto School District and others by the parents of Melissa Swain after the twelve-year-old died during the October 2005 Old Tyme Days Parade. According to court documents, the girl was riding on a float during the parade, when she fell off of the float and was run over by the truck pulling the float.

All of the parties, including the Hutto Middle School teacher who over-saw decorating the float, settled with the Swains in April of 2007. The family’s attorney now tells 590 KLBJ the Hutto Chamber of Commerce has reached an agreement, ending an almost two year ordeal.

The specifics of the settlement are not being released by any of the involved parties, including the government entities, due to a confidentiality agreement. According to the Williamson County District Clerk records, the case was set to go to jury trial on Monday.

In the Swain’s original filing, Melissa was a seventh grader at Hutto Middle School at the time of her death. As a member of the Hutto Chapter of the Family Community and Career Leaders of America, Inc, she and about twenty other students road on the float. According to court documents, the float was constructed on a “thirty-year old, homemade, open-sided, flatbed trailer.”

The suit holds all of the parities responsible and charges they were negligent in not checking the safety of the floats involved, or by setting safety guidelines for float construction or operation.

Chamber and city officials were not available for comment.

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