Disabled boy, unsupervised, went under
Lawyers’ Weekly — On Nov. 3, 2010, plaintiff’s minor, then age 16, was at a learning center, when he was taken along with at least 10 other developmentally disabled youngsters to the pool for an aquatic activity.
At least eight of the 11 youngsters in his group, including plaintiff, entered the pool under the supervision of the various individual defendants. Plaintiff alleged that the defendants allowed plaintiff to enter the pool area without a flotation device and did not require him to wear a flotation device at all while he was in the pool, contrary to his parents’ instructions.
Plaintiff co-guardians alleged that none of the defendants watched plaintiff’s minor or noticed that he had actually entered the pool even though they knew that he was a nonswimmer and required constant supervision while in the pool.
Plaintiffs further alleged that the defendants did not maintain a log or other safety system to record safety directions for the severely developmentally disabled youngsters in their charge.
In addition, plaintiffs argued that defendants did not use any system to assure that necessary safety equipment and protocols were followed for each of the individual youngsters’ aquatic activity, and did not track or monitor each of the children, including even the basic obligation to take a head count to know who or how many children were in the pool at any one time.
Plaintiffs co-guardians alleged that the defendants were otherwise distracted and were not watching plaintiff’s minor. The plaintiffs argued that defendants were aware that plaintiff’s minor was entirely dependent and would not be able to make an appropriate safety judgment or recognize danger and that, being nonverbal, he would not be able to call out for help.
Plaintiff’s minor ended up on the bottom of the deep end of the pool before he was recovered. He was not breathing, and after significant resuscitation efforts, a pulse was recovered. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he remained in critical condition in the pediatric intensive care unit for 15 days, and underwent a series of procedures trying to stabilize him. Ultimately, he was transferred for inpatient rehabilitation and then discharged.
Plaintiffs alleged that plaintiff’s minor continued to suffer with increased weakness and other residuals, including a pathological fear of water since the incident.
Type of action: Negligence
Type of injuries: Pulmonary edema, hypoxic brain injury, shock
Name of case: Confidential
Court/Case no./Date: Saginaw County Circuit Court; confidential; March 31, 2014
Name of judge: Withheld
Settlement amount: $150,000
Insurance carrier(s): Withheld
Attorney for plaintiff: Debra A. Freid
Attorney(s) for defendant: Withheld