A man was awarded $400,000 in damages after his 5 year old disabled daughter drowned at a children’s center while taking part in an after school program.The child was found submerged in a mineral pool where she was taking part in hydrotherapy, at a Crippled Children’s Center in Desert. The child, who was autistic and legally blind, died the next day from her injuries.Her father filed a wrongful death suit against Crippled Children’s Foundation, the School District, the Cerebral Palsy Organization as well as three people who had worked with his daughter. As an experienced trial attorney I have reviewed many cases of wrongful death and have completed same with favorable results. The jury voted to award $40,000 in damages for past loss of companionship and $360,000 for future loss of companionship.
The little girl, who was diagnosed with low-functioning autism, was in a special education kindergarten class in a local Elementary school at the time of her death, which police investigators deemed accidental. Her father’s lawsuit claimed that three people affiliated with the program knew his daughter was autistic and blind, yet they did not give her a life vest before she went into the pool.While unsupervised and without a lifesaving vest the victim drowned the suit claimed.
The program was subsequently shut down by the state Department of Social Services.