A Dallas Morning News article recently reported that the parents of a young child who drowned in the pool had lodged a lawsuit against the babysitter who had left the child alone at the time. While no official conclusion has been drawn as to negligence, the Dallas Police Department has recommended criminal prosecution of the babysitter. While no criminal charges have been filed as of this writing, the parents may choose to do so in the future.
The Boca Raton attorney who represents the parents of the deceased child has since offered a $1 million settlement. While it is believed that the amount of money involved will be far above the actual monetary loss sustained, potential damages may still be open for argument. In addition to potentially paving the way for punitive damages, it is also possible the settlement proceeds might help to pay for funeral expenses and medical bills accrued by the boy through the months leading up to his death. In addition, it is possible the settlement could be used to cover childcare expenses for the surviving children.
There are many factors that go into the calculation of contributory negligence. For one thing, it is important to identify whether or not the caregiver was within the point of control of the individual who drowned. If not, contributory negligence may have been committed. Another factor is if the caretaker did not know of the danger he or she provided.
In determining if the individual was within the point of care, it is necessary to determine how close the caretaker was to the water. For this assessment, it is helpful to take account of the position of the caretaker when the accident occurred. Was the caretaker directly involved in the accident? Or, did he or she witness the accident from a distance? If the caretaker was unable to determine whether or not the individual was in fact in a dangerous condition, then liability on the part of the individual who drowned comes into play.
While the Boca Raton lawsuit has been filed, the parents of the deceased have not yet received any monetary settlements. It is unknown if the parents will receive any monies in the near future. In the mean time, the Boca Raton lawsuit may at least bring more awareness to parents who have children who love to swim but hate getting wet.
A second wrongful death case was also recently brought forth in Boca Raton. A woman who was drowned off a swimming pool suffered the same fate as the deceased. Her wrongful and negligent death suit was subsequently filed. The woman, identified as Joann Anderson, has additionally suffered emotional trauma as a result of her experience. She recently passed away at a medical clinic in Palm Desert. Her wrongful and negligent death suit is currently pending.