Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to properly identify the people involved. News 13 apologizes for the error.
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — On December 4, 2020, a truck driven by restaurant owner Scott Donaldson, jumped the curb and ran over two children playing mini-golf with their parents at Coconut Creek Family Fun Park.
The truck hit and killed 6-year-old Addie and 4-year-old Baylor Kirchgessner as their parents watched in horror.
Wednesday Lauren and Matt Kirchgessner announced they are suing Donaldson’s Physician, Dr. Tim Smith, for medical malpractice.
“Look at this record: twelve hospitalizations, five times crashing your car, multiple times reporting noncompliance with seizure medications,” Kirchgessner’s family lawyer Jack T. Cook said.
“There’s nobody that would say that what happened here was not possible, absolutely preventable,” Cook said.
Authorities believe Donaldson had a seizure.
His toxicology report showed no trace of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.
But, the Kirchgessner’s said Donaldson’s alcohol abuse is still to blame.
“Those seizures are unequivocally due to alcohol use,” Cook said. “They are not epilepsy. They are not something he was born with. They’re not something that’s developed as a natural disease. They are attributed to his drinking and also attributed to his stopping drinking, what’s called withdrawal, seizures. This is a doctor who knows about how this alcohol is harming him medically. What he was continuing to tell him was that all of his problems were not all related.”
They also said Dr. Smith tried to help hide Donaldson’s condition from other medical personnel.
“Every single time this man would be hospitalized, Doctor Smith would be there to run interference and say this is not alcohol-related,” Cook said. “Like all the other doctors are saying, this is merely an electrolyte imbalance.”
The lawsuit also named Donaldson and his restaurant “Billy’s Oyster Bar” claiming employees knew Donaldson had an alcohol problem but still served him. News 13 reached out to Donaldson’s attorney who declined to comment.