NC families to split settlement following crash that killed teen - WNCT

NC families to split settlement following crash that killed teens

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -

A Jacksonville jury sided with two North Carolina families on Friday, awarding them more than $8 million in a death settlement for their sons.

Matthew Helms of Jacksonville was killed in a bus crash in France in 2004.  Julian Brown of Charlotte was also killed.  He was seriously injured before dying eight days later.  Both boys were 13.

Both families sued the N.C. Youth Soccer Association (NCYSA), which oversees youth soccer throughout North Carolina.  The families said the trip was planned without safety in mind, that the soccer association didn't research the charter bus company or do any other safety planning. 

"The jury stood up for safety," said David Kirby of the Raleigh law firm of Kirby and Holt, which represented the families.  "The families hope this verdict sends a message about the importance of safety in youth activities."

The boys were chosen by the NCYSA as part of the Olympic Development Team.

The Matt Helms Memorial Shootout, a soccer tournament, is held annually in Jacksonville and draws hundreds of soccer players.

The jury awarded each family just over $4 million. 

 

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