Parents of teen killed after fair file lawsuit

- Two years after their son was killed while crossing I-4 just after being kicked out of the Florida State Fair, Andrew Joseph Jr. and his wife Deanna have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Josephs are suing the Florida State Fair Authority, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the Hillsborough County School District, alleging they had a role in 14-year-old Andrew Joseph III's death.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, says that deputies made an unjustified arrest when they detained the younger Joseph and that officers kicked him out and negligently left him outside the fairgrounds without notifying his parents.

"They placed my son in an official Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department vehicle, transported him 100 yards away from the Interstate and abandoned him," said Joseph.

The younger Joseph was killed February 7, 2014 after he tried crossing I-4 to get back to the fairgrounds and was struck by a car.

Barry Cohen, the Josephs' lawyer, says the suit will seek more than a million dollars in damages.

None of the parties being sued would comment to FOX 13, citing policies that they don't speak about pending lawsuits.

Since Joseph's death, the fair said it has made changes in practice and protocol.

Students under the age of 16 are not allowed to be unaccompanied by an adult after 6 p.m. Deputies and the fair authority have also increased officers working the event and invested in new technology like surveillance cameras.

The Joseph's say no changes can bring their son back, but support the measures. They believe there is more to be done to ensure the safety of children at the fair. They suggest not allowing any unaccompanied minors, even during the day.

"We have made some progress because we have demanded progress. We have demanded safety and we have a very long ways to go still," said Joseph. 

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Parents of teen killed after fair file lawsuit
  • Donations pour in as Bay Area Puerto Ricans worry about family back home
  • Polk detectives look for lotto ticket scammers
  • Rape suspect arrested in two St. Petersburg cold cases
  • Tampa police search for skimmer suspect
  • Clearwater police seek help finding missing teen
  • Smart meters could slow power restoration in Lakeland
  • Helping America's heroes, one step at a time
  • Hernando deputies shoot bank-robbery suspect
  • Local food pantry keeps families afloat