$800,000 Verdict for Family of Girl Drowned at YMCA Pool

May 21st, 2004 by Wapner Newman

Evans, 11, was on a class field trip to a swimming pool. An hour after the students got to the pool, Evans was found floating facedown and unconscious in the water. She died of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) a month later. Her medical expenses were $55,000. She is survived by her mother and siblings.

Evans’ estate [represented by Wapner Newman wrongful death attorneys in Pennsylvania, Marc G. Brecher and Susan Morgan] sued the local YMCA, a branch of the national organization, alleging negligent supervision in that the head lifeguard had only assigned two lifeguards to monitor the crowded pool. Plaintiff alleged that Evans must have been in the pool for at least one to two minutes, and the fact that she had aspirated vomit demonstrated that water had entered her lungs. Had there been more lifeguards, plaintiff argued, she would have been noticed much faster.

Defendant contended Evans was found within 45 seconds of her submersion, proving the lifeguards were doing their jobs adequately. Defendant also claimed Evans vomited because she had just eaten, rather than because water had entered her lungs. Thus, the ARDS was a result of her vomiting, rather than her submersion.

A jury awarded $800,000.