Lawyers representing Dave Willock, the father of late Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock, have sent a formal notice to the Georgia University System Board of Regents that he plans to seek $2 million in damages, the documents show.
Dave controls his son’s estate and sent a legal notice to the board of regents and others earlier this month. Under Georgia law, notice is required whenever a legal action is brought against a state entity.
The maximum amount state agencies can be sued for is $2 million, under Georgia law.
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Willock and recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy were killed in a car accident in January shortly after the football team’s celebration of its back-to-back College Football Playoff National Championships.
The ceremony was held on campus. Willock and LeCroy were later found in a UGA-leased Ford Expedition on Barnett Shoals Road near university property. Police said the SUV was competing with top NFL Draft prospect Jalen Carter.
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LeCroy’s vehicle was traveling at 104 mph before it struck a couple of utility poles and several trees, according to police. Authorities said his blood alcohol concentration was more than double the legal limit in Georgia.
Former Georgia football player Warren McClendon and another employee, Tory Bowles, were injured in the crash.
Dave Willock’s lawyers say university officials knew of LeCroy’s driving record. He had previously been cited multiple times for speeding in the past six years.
«To be clear, UGA and [University of Georgia Athletic Association] agents and employees negligently entrusted a vehicle to LeCroy,” the attorneys wrote in the legal notice. “Similarly, UGA and UGAAA agents and employees negligently hired, supervised, trained, and retained LeCroy.”
Georgia’s athletic director has previously stated that LeCroy was not supposed to be driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.
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However, Dave’s attorney alleges that LeCroy was told to remain on standby with the SUV if any coaches, recruits or players needed anything during that weekend.
«Supervisors providing keys etc to recruit assistants for the purpose of entertaining players and recruits during Championship weekend is clear, but UGA denies those facts in the media after the events is at best of the cases, of impolite», declared the lawyers in the legal notice. .
«UGA Athletic Director Public Comments [Josh Brooks]supervisors and administrators downplaying their role in this incident and blaming LeCroy does not lead the way, and is less than expected.»
A university spokesperson disputed the attorney’s claims that the school provided alcohol to LeCroy at celebratory events.
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«As we continue to grieve for the Willock family, Devin’s father’s attorney’s demand letter is riddled with inaccuracies,» Trevor wrote in the statement.
«[Willock’s attorney] has not provided the university with any source or evidentiary basis to support these reckless claims. As we have made clear, the personal use of rented vehicles for recruiting activities was strictly prohibited. Ms. LeCroy was not involved in athletic department duties at the time of the accident and, therefore, she was not authorized for her personal use of the car after her recruiting duties were completed that night.»