Just over two years after Bonnie Herndon was injured in a golf cart accident at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in February 2013, the Herndon family has settled.
Herndon and her husband attended the Toby Keith concert that was put on in conjunction with the 2013 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on opening night. After the show ended, the couple used the golf cart transportation service to return to their parked vehicle. Herndon was in the front seat with the driver and her husband was in the row behind her. The driver, operating on behalf of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, made a quick left turn, ejecting Herndon from the modified golf cart where she landed head-first on the pavement of the Reliant Stadium (now NRG) parking lot.
Herndon suffered a serious head injury and has remained comatose ever since.
The Herndons were transported that night by a volunteer in a modified and "stretched" golf cart. Prior to the modification, the golf cart was purchased by Mr. Golf Carts, Inc, a corporation based in Georgia. Mr. Golf Carts, Inc. modified the golf cart from a two-passenger vehicle to a six-passenger vehicle. In modifying the golf cart, Mr. Golf Carts, Inc. removed the overhead handles, handles that were supposed to keep passengers in the cart. Mr. Golf Carts, Inc. also changed the position of the hip restraint on the seatback for the front-row passenger. By the time all the modifications were completed, the golf cart didn't meet industry standards, according to a statement issued by Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend, the law firm representing the Herndon family.
The golf cart was purchased from Mr. Golf Carts, Inc. by Conroe Golf Cars, Inc., a local dealership that won the bid to supply hundreds of golf carts during the 2013 Rodeo season. On the night of the incident, the golf cart was driven by a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo volunteer and the parking lot activities were controlled by SMG, a Pennsylvania general partnership associated with property management.
Herndon went into a coma and has never recovered. Herndon's family filed a lawsuit against pretty much everyone who had anything to do with the golf cart accident. Herndon's lawyers announced on Monday that the family has settled the case against all parties. The settlement amount is confidential, but the law firm says it will provide for Herndon's lifetime care.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officials issued this statement on the case:
"The Herndon lawsuit has been settled. Terms and details are confidential as agreed to by all parties. Bonnie is a beloved member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo family and she and her family remain in our thoughts and prayers."