MURPHY – The city of Murphy is firing back more than one year after a News 8 story in which the parents of a boy killed in a soccer net accident spoke out.
The parents of Matthew Cantrell filed a lawsuit against the city, and now Murphy’s city manager says he wants it thrown out.
While City Manager James Fisher said authorities did a great job of responding to the tragedy, the Cantrells disagree.
In 2007, Matthew accidentally strangled himself in the family’s backyard soccer net after sneaking out of the home after his mother dozed off on the couch. After discovering her son, Ave Cantrell tried to cut her son free and called 911.
“What do I need to do,” she asked.
That same question was repeated eight time by Mrs. Cantrell, but she never received an answer. Fisher said she didn’t get instructions because she was hysterical.
“The instructions were to calm down,” he said. “Before she could do anything else, she had to calm down.”
The city is now fighting Cantrell’s lawsuit.
“In the deposition, she did admit she was primarily responsible,” Fisher said.
But Mrs. Cantrell’s husband, Michael, said he has a response to that.
“Any good parent naturally blames themselves anytime a child is injured,” he said.
City statements showed that authorities kept paramedics from getting inside the home right away to help. A Murphy police officer deemed the house a crime scene, claiming the child was gone.
“In their mind, and after they assess for pulse and breathing, he was dead,” Fisher said.
But, Matthew was alive and lived three more days.
“I know in my heart he would have been saved,” Mrs. Cantrell said. “He would have lived today if i was given instructions, if I was prompted or if anybody provided medical care to him.”
Mrs. Cantrell started CPR on Matthew, but went blank in the heat of the incident.
“I kept on thinking, “I’m a horrible mother,'” she said. “Any mom would feel that way because you don’t want anything to happen to your children.”
Murphy wants a jury to hear a motion to dismiss the case.