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Family Sues Over Drowning Death of Son at West Phila. Rec Center

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The family of a boy who died after being pulled from a city pool over the summer has filed a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and the private company in charge of watching the child.

Seven-year-old Jabriel O’Connor died after he was found at the bottom of a city swimming pool in the Cobbs Creek section of the city (see related story).

Now, the boy’s parents are suing the city and the company running the day camp that brought the kids to the pool.

“He was supposed to be properly supervised by a private corporation known as Travelers Aid, and of course was to be properly watched by the lifeguards, all of whom who were not paying attention,” says Andy Stern, an attorney for the family.   “It was so bad that he sustained a heart attack. He was rushed to CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).  Ultimately, he was declared brain-dead.   Life support measures were withdrawn the next day, and his organs were donated.”

Stern says the private company was alerted that the child was unable to swim.  He also says he made offers to settle out of court but counsel for the parties involved refused.

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