Today....the family of that boy struck and killed by lightning last month.....filing a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against mcgregor Baptist Church. They held a press conference announcing details of the lawsuit. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason is here now with the details.
The Watlington family hiring a high powered attorney, suing mcgregor Baptist and Southwest Florida Christian Academy; claiming their son's death could have been prevented.
Chuck Watlington: "I want to make sure that he's the last child in the state of Florida that's needlessly endangered, struck by lightning. Everything I see and do i think of my son, not one second goes by..."
The Watlingtons lost their 11-year old son, Jesse, last month when he was struck and killed by lightning during football practice. With attorney Willie Gary by their side....they announced they're now suing Jesse's school and the church that runs it.
Willie Gary: "This was gross negligence, it didn't have to happen and it shouldn't have to happen to any other young boy or girl."
Prominent attorney Willie Gary claims the church was negligent: for allowing students to practice during a storm and coaches who were supervising students did not know CPR. He also says there was no lightning detection device on the field that day.
Chuck Watlington: "We've had people come forward and tell us that it was in their offices turned off and that was very disturbing to find that out."
The lawsuit also contends the Florida High School Athletic Association: "Mandates that each member school must have an operational automated external defibrillator" -- or AED.
But we checked with the association and a spokesman told us: "AED's are recommended but not mandatory for football practice."
Mike Mason: "I'm just trying to clear that up.
Willie Gary: "Ok, let me clear that for you, and make it real clear. Is life any less valuable in a practice as opposed to a game? If it was your son or your daughter I don't think so."
After the tragedy, the church also set up "Jesse's Fund" to raise money for the Watlingtons. But the lawsuit claims: "Not all the funds were accounted for."
We reached out to Pastor Powell last week about this but he had no comment. Chuck says he also questioned the pastor.
Chuck Watlington: “i've got bills rolling in like crazy and I'm getting no help at all from this church, from this school."
Mike Mason: "What did he say?"
Chuck Watlington: "He didn't want to hear anything I had to say and then he was getting upset."
The Watlingtons now hope this lawsuit will help prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.
Chuck Watlington: "i've lost my son, now I want to make sure everybody out there in the community all over Southwest Florida don't lose theirs."
Last month, Pastor Powell also told the media the skies were clear blue that day. The Watlingtons say that's not true. At this point....Pastor Powell will only say: "We at McGregor continue to pray for the Watlington family in their time of grief ".