Bresette Family Settlement Reached in Birmingham Airport Tragedy


Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Tim Dollar of Kansas City, Missouri, law firm Dollar, Burns & Becker, announced that a settlement has been reached in the lawsuit that sought to determine the truth and assign responsibility in the tragedy in which Luke Bresette lost his life. The family’s attorney, Tim Dollar says, “The terms of the settlement, by agreement and out of respect for the privacy of the family, are confidential. I can say that the amount of compensation is reasonable and commensurate with the losses suffered by the family.”

The Bresette family was returning from a spring break vacation March 22, 2013, when a flight display unit fell on members of the family at the recently renovated Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. One child, Luke Bresette, was killed and there were serious injuries to the mother, Heather, and other members of the family.

Each defendant has acknowledged that mistakes were made and each has accepted responsibility for their respective roles that contributed to the tragedy. More importantly, each defendant has taken specific steps to analyze the failures that may have occurred and have agreed to make concrete changes to ensure that similar tragedies are avoided in the future. 

During a press conference following the settlement hearing, Luke’s father, Ryan Bresette, spoke about how his family’s strong faith has allowed them to survive the aftermath of March 22, 2013. He said, “While our faith teaches us the importance of personal accountability, it also teaches us about the need for forgiveness. Luke also believed in forgiveness – asking for forgiveness and forgiving others. The individuals who make up the companies involved here are good and decent people who never intended this result. Nevertheless, mistakes were made and there has now been accountability and repentance. Our family in return extends forgiveness.” 

To honor Luke, the Bresette family has created the “Live Like Luke” Foundation. “Our family intends to move forward now and focus our efforts on promoting the ‘Live Like Luke’ Foundation in order to encourage young people to be the best they can be,” said Ryan Bresette.  

Ryan and Heather Bresette and Tim Dollar are available for interviews. These can be arranged by calling Sarah Davis at 816-842-8111.

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The Live Like Luke Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that was established in 2014 to honor Luke Bresette. The foundation’s mission is to help all children and people live life to the fullest like Luke did every day – by putting a smile on your face and enjoying everything and every moment without hesitation. To learn more, visit  

Dollar, Burns & Becker is one of America’s leading law firms for those whose family or friends have suffered catastrophic injuries or death due to gross negligence. For more than 20 years, the firm has successfully prosecuted thousands of these cases all over the country in every area of personal injury: truck and auto crashes, nursing home abuse, daycare abuse, electrocutions, construction and industrial accidents, bad faith and more. The firm prides itself in advocating for safety reforms at the local, state and national levels. The attorneys have helped lead the charge by making significant changes to safety policies and procedures to eliminate dangerous practices to protect others from death and injury. The firm’s principal attorneys are Tim Dollar, Jeff Burns and Tim Becker. Consultations are free and attorneys’ fees are always on contingency. To learn more, visit or on Twitter @dbblaw.