"Jonathan's Law" parents disappointed after claim denied
LITTLE ROCK - More than two years after 9-year-old Jonathan Nelson was killed by a fallen soccer goal post, his family says they're disappointed in a committee decision to deny a $1 million award that had been previously approved.
Nine days ago the Nelsons were awarded $1 million by a budget subcommittee which had unanimously ruled the Department of Human Services played at least some role in the death of the young Bentonville boy. On Wednesday, the family did not get enough votes from the Joint Budget Committee and the award was struck down.
Only thirty members were present and the committee voted 23-7 in favor of the claim.
"It just seems like we're being let down by the process now that it's going back to the same committee that heard it nine days ago," said Nathan Nelson, Jonathan's father.
Nelson has grown disheartened with the system that helped pass "Jonathan's Law" in honor of his son in 2011. The law required soccer goal posts on school grounds and in public recreation areas.
He says out of the seven who voted against the claim, six had never been present in any previous committee hearings.
A dispute still continues between the Department of Human Services and the Nelsons. DHS maintains the accident did not occur on their property while Nelson and two committees feel different.
"Obviously we disagree with their findings," said Amy Webb, spokesperson for DHS. "We will abide by whatever the final decision is."
It won't be until as early as next week before Jonathan's worn down parents will try and restart their quest for accountability.
"Until they take ownership over their negligence no one can have any confidence whatsoever that their kids are any safer," said Nelson.