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Tragedy Strikes: Young Birthday Party Guest Drowned in Apartment’s Pool

October 7, 2021

This article was originally published in Michigan Lawyers Weekly on October 5, 2021.

$1,550,000 settlement

By: Michigan Lawyers Weekly Staff - in Verdicts & Settlements - October 1, 2021

This case arose out of the drowning death of an 8-year-old girl. The decedent was a guest of a birthday party held at a community apartment complex pool.

Despite being a relatively experienced swimmer, the decedent entered the deep end of the pool and began to struggle to stay afloat. Two boys attempted a rescue, however they encountered difficulty with the safety equipment.

The plaintiff alleged that the life ring was not in a “rescue ready” condition and the rope was insufficient length in violation of regulatory requirements.

The defendant maintained that the apartment complex was in full compliance with safety regulations, the decedent was swimming while unsupervised and another child had pulled her under the water.

  1. A. Vince Colella, counsel for the plaintiff, provided case information. He added that, upon information and belief, this is the second largest reported settlement involving a drowning death in Michigan.

Type of action: Negligence

Injuries alleged: Death

Name of case: Doe v. Apartment complex

Court/Date: Calhoun County Circuit Court; Aug. 16, 2021

Name of judge: Hon. John Hallacy

Name of mediator: William W. Jack Jr.

Case evaluation: $3,500,000

Settlement amount: $1,550,000

Most helpful expert(s): Gerald Dworkin, aquatic safety

Insurance carrier(s): Auto Owners Insurance Company

Attorney for plaintiff: A. Vince Colella, Southfield

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