Attorneys representing Dave Willock, the father of late Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock, have sent a formal notice to the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents that he plans to seek $2 million in damages, documents showed.
Dave controls his son’s estate and sent a legal notice to the board of regents and others earlier this month. According to Georgia law, notice is required whenever a legal action is going to be filed against a state entity.
The maximum amount state agencies can be sued for is $2 million, per Georgia law.
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Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy were killed in a car wreck in January, shortly after the football team’s celebration of their back-to-back College Football Playoff National Championships.
The ceremony was held on campus. Willock and LeCroy were later found in a UGA-rented Ford Expedition on Barnett Shoals Road near university property. Police said the SUV was racing top NFL Draft prospect Jalen Carter.
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LeCroy’s vehicle was traveling at 104 mph before the car hit a pair of power poles and multiple trees, according to police. Officials said her blood alcohol concentration was more than two times the legal limit in Georgia.
Former Georgia football player Warren McClendon and another female staffer, Tory Bowles, were injured in the crash.
Dave Willock’s lawyers claim that university officials knew about LeCroy’s driving history. She had previously being cited multiple times for speeding over 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. “Likewise, UGA and UGAAA agents and employees negligently hired, supervised, trained, and retained LeCroy.”
Georgia’s athelic director has perviously 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 allege 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 recruiting assistants for the purpose of entertaining players and recruits over the Championship weekend is clear, but UGA denying those facts in the media after the events is poor form at best,” attorneys stated in the legal notice.
“Public comments by the UGA Athletic Director [Josh Brooks], supervisors and administrators diminishing their role in this incident and blaming LeCroy does not lead the way, and it is less than expected.”
A university spokesperson disputed the attorney’s claims about the school providing alcohol to LeCroy at the celebration events.
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“While we continue to grieve for the Willock family, the demand letter from an attorney for Devin’s father is full of inaccuracies,” Trevor wrote in the statement.
“[Willock’s attorney] has not provided the university with any sources or evidentiary bases to support these reckless claims. As we have made clear, personal use of vehicles rented for recruiting activities was strictly prohibited. Ms. LeCroy was not engaged in athletic department duties around the time of the accident, and her personal use of the car after her recruiting duties ended earlier that evening was therefore unauthorized.”