The family of an Ocean Springs man who was killed at a Mardi Gras parade in Biloxi last year has filed a $5 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

Braydon Hester, 20, was at the Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade on Feb. 28, 2017, standing in the bed of a pickup truck parked on Howard Avenue when, according to the lawsuit,  he fell, landing on a metal rebar pole that was uncapped. The pole impaled Hester, who had to be cut free with the jaws of life once first responders arrived. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died, with the pole still puncturing his body.

The lawsuit accuses the City of Biloxi of violating federal safety regulations by placing vertical rebar poles into the cement without placing caps on top of them.

The family alleges that the city’s failure to implement proper safety protocols was “deliberate, reckless and with malice.” The lawsuit also says it was “completely avoidable.”

The lawsuit was filed Feb. 22 in Harrison County Circuit Court. The defendants are listed as the minor son of Hester, with that child’s mother acting as administrator of Hester’s estate.

The family says Hester’s young son, along with the other beneficiaries of the estate, have suffered emotional and financial damages, including loss of love and affection, loss of past and future wages for the child’s support, and pain and suffering.

Biloxi’s spokesperson said the city has no comment.

In the wake of Hester’s death, the City of Biloxi implemented new safety measures for the 2018 Mardi Gras season. Those included removing metal rebar poles from the parade route and stricter crowd control.

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