The lawsuit asks for more than $25,000 in damages, claiming negligence by the park trustees in allowing sledding in Duncan Memorial Park, which is located between Sheldon Road and Lake Avenue in Grand Haven. It also requests a trial by jury.
The Duncan park trustees named in the lawsuit are Ed Lystra, Rodney Griswold and Jerry Scott.
The lawsuit claims that the trustees were also negligent in maintaining the grounds by not removing dead branches from commonly used sledding areas.
Nash was sledding with family members in the park on Dec. 31, 2009, when he struck a branch of a fallen tree. He was taken to North Ottawa Community Hospital, and then transferred to a Grand Rapids hospital, where he later died from internal injuries.
A previous lawsuit — filed in January 2011 against the park trustees and the city — was dismissed this past January. That lawsuit claimed that the park commission breached its duties in maintaining the park in general, and the sledding hill in particular, “in a reasonably safe condition for use by children and the other members of the public for sledding." The suit claimed that it was the commission’s responsibility to remove dead trees and branches from the area “on or near the sledding hills.”
Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing ruled that the park’s commission was a government entity, under the city of Grand Haven, making it immune from the lawsuit — said the Nash family attorney, John Tallman of Grand Rapids. Tallman said he tried to amend the lawsuit so that it targeted the Duncan Park Trust, and the park trustees individually, but that also was denied.
Tallman filed an appeal on that lawsuit in March, which is currently in process, and nothing has been done since the filing, he said Thursday.
"We’re a long way from the end,” Tallman said.
Tallman said the new lawsuit is similar to the previous one, but eliminated the park commission as a defendant. “It’s the same lawsuit, just different parties," he said. "Well, different names for the same parties."