Wrongful Death Lawyer Denver, CO
USA Today’s Argus Leader is reporting that the family of a young girl who drowned in a South Dakota Park has filed a wrongful death claim against the city responsible for that park (https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/city/2018/07/26/sioux-falls-park-lawsuit-federal-court-brendan-johnson-maggie-zaiger/838077002/).
The claim, which was filed in the federal court against Sioux Falls in South Dakota, alleges that the city did not provide proper safety precautions at its Falls Park, where five-year-old Maggie Zaiger of Iowa drowned after she fell from the rocks on the river bank and into the water on March 18.
It was the first time the Zaiger family visited the popular landmark, where the agitation of the falls and the phosphorous in the water can add up to a large pile of foam in the river. The foam, which looks like snow, is what attracted the five-year-old girl. Five years prior, two other people drowned in the park in the same area and under similar conditions. In that case, the two victims had jumped into the water to save a six-year-old boy who had also tried to touch the foam. The child lived, but his two rescuers, Lyle Eagletail and Madison Wallace, both drowned. After that incident, the city discussed adding more safety measures, such as fencing, to prevent another tragic death. However, they ultimately elected to install signs that warned people not to get too close to the edge.
The wrongful death claim states the city ignored recommendations it received in the past to install barriers that make it clear where the rock part ends and the water starts. The heavy foam makes it difficult to visually distinguish the end of the rocks before the water.
Since the tragic event, the city has authorized construction on railings and viewing platforms at the park to increase safety for visitors. A representative of the city would not respond to any requests for comments about the lawsuit because of the pending litigation in Maggie’s case. Although the young girl’s family does not specify a dollar amount in the filing, cases that are filed in the federal court must seek at least $75,000 in damages.
Courtney Jayne, Maggie’s mother, said the case is not about the money or seeking justice for her child. Instead, she hopes to hold the city accountable for what happened and prompt the city to improve its safety precautions at the popular park so there are no more tragedies there. Jayne also stated that had the city installed fences five years ago instead of just a sign, the incident may not have happened.
According to the young mother, the tragic incident happened right in front of them incredibly quickly. Rescue workers located young Maggie in the water and performed CPR, but she was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
When a person you care about has died because of the lack of action or direct actions of another entity or person, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Speak to an experienced wrongful death lawyer Denver, CO relies on about your case today.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into wrongful death claims.