Lawsuit filed against TEXAS Musical Drama workers for explosion - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Lawsuit filed against TEXAS Musical Drama workers for explosion death

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Peyton Trueblood (Source: Lisa Trueblood) Peyton Trueblood (Source: Lisa Trueblood)

The parents of Peyton Trueblood have filed a lawsuit against four workers on the TEXAS Musical Drama, claiming they are responsible for their daughter's death.

Trueblood worked for the musical during the summer of 2015, and was killed on site when a fireworks magazine exploded.

"When you send your 21-year-old off as a young adult, you have to give them space to spread their wings and fly, and that's what I did with Peyton," said her mother Lisa Trueblood. "I trusted the [Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation] to make sure that she was safe."

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Amarillo's federal court, alleges negligence, gross negligence and strict liability against the defendants, who are:

  • Blaine Bertrand, Production Manager
  • Kris Miller, Executive Director
  • Dennis Rice, Lead Pyrotechnician
  • Rick Bertram, Pyrotechnician

The Truebloods claim these men were "grossly negligent in their failed attempts to train cast and crew members how to safely handle explosives."

"Peyton's mother received numerous letters and telephone calls from this year's cast and crew alleging that the defendants continue with their unsafe practices," said their attorney Jesse Quackenbush.

In a previous interview with NewsChannel 10, lead pyrotechnician Dennis Rice said no, they had not made any changes, and nothing bad has happened since.

"Several of the technicians that are working this year worked last year," said Rice. "They are still doing it voluntarily. We really are doing the same safety procedures we did last year, and continuing the documentation and we have had no issues whatsoever."

Trueblood said documentation is something the staff could work on improving.

She claimed the cast never had to fill out an emergency contact form, and because of that, found out about her daughter's death on Facebook.

"They need to know how to get in touch with these kids' parents or anybody that works for them for emergency situations, because with all the work that they had those kids doing anybody could have been hurt or killed, other than just fireworks," she said.

The Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation was issued $42,000 in fines by OSHA earlier this year for six serious citations regarding the explosion and Petyon's death.

That case was closed last month.

Trueblood will not stop fighting, she said, until she has answers, and can rest assured her daughter did not die in vain.

"I feel like I'm in a position to force the foundation to make some changes, and to keep future staff and cast members and tech crews and spectators safe," said Trueblood. "That's my intention, and I feel like this lawsuit will get their attention."

You can view the lawsuit in its entirety here.

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