Lawsuit: Girls permanently damaged by City of Houston equipment at park

Permanent muscle, nerve damage, nightmares and psychological trauma are just some of the consequences two Houston girls are struggling with months after they were electrocuted

“She thinks that if she kills herself, she’ll come back to life as my daughter and she’s going to know not to go to the park that day,” said Marina Charles, Emma’s mother.

The girls’ families say someone needs to be held accountable for what happened after softball practice Moody Park on September 11th.

“Do your job so it doesn’t have to happen to any other child,” said Christan Coleman, McKinley’s mother.

The teammates were electrocuted by a faulty ground electrical box. David Gilbert was also hurt trying to save his granddaughter, Emma. He says he still sees double and tore muscles in his arms.

“I was trying to pull her it was kind of hard because her knuckles they got stuck on the metal,” he recalled.

Gilbert described how his sassy granddaughter has changed and blames herself for what happened.

“I think she thinks it’s her fault that I got hurt,” he added fighting back tears.

The families are asking for $25 million in damages. They accuse the City of Houston, Centerpoint Energy, Times Construction, Little League Baseball, and Lindale Summer Baseball of negligence.


“The lawsuit is to force the city and its contractors to be accountable,” Sean Roberts, the families’ attorney said.

Roberts says he requested information on service calls to Moody Park after the incident. He believes the city received complaints about electrical issues at the park for at least two years. He says the City of Houston has not responded.

We know that there had been complaints about electrical issues at this park

“Somebody didn’t do their job correctly and the city didn’t inspect correctly,” added Charles.

Centerpoint, Little League Baseball., and Lindale Summer Baseball all responded to FOX 26 request for comment saying they cannot comment on pending litigation.

The City of Houston says it has not been officially served with the lawsuit and cannot comment at this time.

However, FOX 26 was referred to the statement issued by the city in September after the incident. It reads:

“All ground cover boxes at Moody have been inspected for safety and their replacement has begun with work to be completed as soon as possible.

Beginning with high-usage areas, all electrical ground boxes regardless of location within a City park, will also be replaced or upgraded for safety.”

FOX 26 is still waiting to hear back from Times Construction, Inc.