FORT MYERS, Fla. - The family of the young boy who died after he was struck by lightning is now suing the church and school where it happened. Jesse Watlington's family and attorneys claim negligence lead to the 11-year-old's death last month. They say his death was a result of negligence, carelessness and recklessness on the part of McGregor Baptist Church and Southwest Florida Christian Academy.
The lawsuit contends Southwest Florida Christian Academy is a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association and should abide by the rules and regulating governing school athletics. FHSAA mandates that each member school must have an operational automated external defibrillator and that the school must ensure that its employees and coaches receive proper training to use it. All employees and coaching staff are required to complete a course in cardio pulmonary resuscitation, or a basic first aid course that inclues cardio pulmonary resuscitation.
The Watlington family makes the argument that had Southwest Florida Christian Academy compiled with the law, Jesse likely would be alive today.
Also, FHSAA issues guidelines for lightning safety, and on day of incident, there was no lightning detection device on practice field, nor did the school have an evacuation plan in the event of lightning.