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Rodeo Makes Efforts to Avoid Repeat of Tragedy

One year later, Bonnie Herndon, a longtime rodeo volunteer and committee member, remains in a coma following her ejection from a golf cart at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last February. Firm partner Benny Agosto Jr. is representing Bonnie’s family in their lawsuit against the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the driver of the golf cart, and the companies responsible for the golf cart’s design, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. The lawsuit specifically points out that “the vehicle was not equipped with seatbelts”. Mr. Agosto advises those riding rodeo transit this year to be cautious, stating that “if you’re going to be in one of those transportation vehicles, you better be careful”.

Seatbelts are not standard in golf carts, but according to operating officer Leroy Shafer, this year the rodeo has upgraded 70 six passenger vehicles used to transport committee members with 420 individual restraints. Shafer claims that “the golf cart will not move until the guest is buckled into the seatbelt”.

This year more than 4,000 workers have received training to become “certified” golf cart drivers. All cart rentals and others operated by contractors on rodeo grounds will require inspection. Each will have a certification sticker indicating that it is registered with the organization and covered by liability insurance, and the operators will comply with the show’s rules and regulations.

Herndon’s lawsuit accuses the rodeo of failing to properly train its golf cart operators and states that the rodeo volunteer who was driving Herndon and her husband “did not have enough training and experience and maneuvered that cart in such a way that it threw Bonnie out”. Bonnie Herndon’s case is set for trial in July.

Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas. For over 65 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation their clients. For more information, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at 713-396-3964.

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