BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The family of a man who drowned while tubing in the Amite River in 2021 was awarded $4 million in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Keith Hilliard, 54, died on June 19, 2021 during a Father’s Day weekend tubing trip in Livingston Parish. A federal judge in the Middle District of Louisiana ruled Friday, Sept. 8, that his family members, Lisa Hilliard, Christian Hilliard, Jabori Hilliard and Ma’Khail Hillard, would receive a total of $4,933,122 in damages.

The family filed the lawsuit alleging that Tiki Tubing was negligent. Court documents stated that Lisa, Keith’s wife, had asked the company about safety, including asking an employee if her husband would be safe on the river even if he couldn’t swim and whether life jackets would be given.

The employee reportedly said the river was safe and shallow enough to stand in and that life jackets were only given to children.

Keith died after he fell out of his tube minutes after the river trip started and could not stand up due to the river being more than six feet deep, court documents said.

Tiki Tubing closed for the summer of 2022, citing new rules the parish government was enforcing and “complications.” The tubing company’s husband and wife owners were arrested on sex crimes charges. A new tubing company called Cajun Tubing & Kayaking opened a year later with new owners.