After-school clubs and programs can be beneficial for both children and their parents. Many parents rely on these places to care for their children while they are still working after the school day has ended. These programs have a responsibility to keep children as safe as possible while they are at the facility, but this, sadly, doesn't always happen. A case of premises liability involving the drowning death of a young girl was recently decided by a Connecticut court, who declared that the Boys and Girls Club was responsible in the incident.
According to the mother of the girl, the drowning happened several years ago when the girl and her brother were swimming in the pool at the club. She claims that the club did not have enough lifeguards on staff at the time, saying that only one was present and that the guard did not have the proper training. She claims that not only did the little girl drown, but that her brother experienced undue guilt due to witnessing his sister's death.
A jury agreed, awarding damages that totaled over $12 million. Representatives for the Boys and Girls Club say that they have since changed their safety policies to ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again. However, the club plans to appeal the decision, saying that they were not to blame for what happened.
Other families here in Connecticut who have had to experience similar tragedy may decide to file a civil claim as this family did. If the claim is successfully litigated, it could result in financial restitution for the victim's family that could go toward medical bills, funeral costs and other expenses. Cases of premises liability such as this one remind us all that businesses must be responsible in keeping their guests safe.
Source: ctnow.com, "Waterbury Jury Finds Club Responsible In Wrongful Drowning, Awards $12.3 Million", Christine Dempsey, Sept. 18, 2014