JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The family of Francis Fortner filed a lawsuit against the City of Jackson on November 16th via Stevens & Ward, P.A. law firm.
The parents of Frances Fortner have filed a lawsuit against the city of Jackson, Superior Asphalt Inc., IMS Engineers and others, over the death of their daughter.
The lawsuit states that Fortner’s vehicle, “struck a manhole in the road that had an insecure, misplaced and/or defective cover and/or rister, some or all of which had been improperly constructed, designed and/or manufactured, in violation of industry standards, which caused said vehicle to violently stop and flip over, thereby proximately causing the wrongful death of Plaintiffs' decedent, Frances Fortner”
The 18-year-old Jackson Academy senior was killed May 17th when the car she was driving hit an unsecured manhole cover on Ridgewood Road and flipped. Fortner was on the way to rehearsal for her high school graduation.
Another driver called the police and complained of the road conditions earlier in the day.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba has said it didn’t appear speed or driver distraction were factors and took responsibility for the city not taking precautions, such as putting up safety barriers.
Jackson-based Superior Asphalt, hired to repave and raise the manholes on the road, said the company had completed the work.
Public works director for Jackson, Bob Miller said his department had not signed off on the work.