Injured Aggie's Attorney Reacts to Bonfire Ruling

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

Twelve people died and 27 were injured when the bonfire collapsed in November of 1999.

This ruling clears the way for civil suits to be brought against 12 former administrators, including the school's former president, a bonfire advisor, and former commandant of the corps.

In November of 1999, John Comstock was the last student pulled from the Texas A&M bonfire collapse, alive.

He returned to class two years later, with a 13th man tattoo, prosthetic leg, and countless medical bills.

"John Comstock has incurred substantial medical bills. One bill alone was approximately a million dollars," said Comstock's attorney Scott Scherr.

The 10th Court of Appeals ruling means Comstock and other Aggies injured, or relatives of those who died in the bonfire may continue with lawsuits against 12 people in administrative positions at the time, or before the bonfire collapsed.

Comstock's attorney says those administrators knew the bonfire was dangerous.

"There's been several statements that bonfire was one of the biggest risks they had on campus and they knew that at some point it was going to cause injury or death," said Scherr.

Scherr says administrators could have stopped it.

"Failing to prevent what ultimately occurred and that they knew well in advance that this was a possibility," said Scherr.

None of the former administrators named in the suit could be reached for comment.

Officials at Texas A&M University say the school doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Since the bonfire collapse of '99, students have begun holding an unofficial bonfire in Robertson County.

The panel that investigated the bonfire collapse found that the 59 foot stack was four feet higher than the University allowed.

The commission also found that organization failure contributed to the accident, as well as decisions made by university officials and students.

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