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Parents file wrongful-death lawsuit against city official

After a 9-year-old boy drowned in June 2011 while swimming in a man-made pond on private property, the parents decided to file a lawsuit against the property owner, a city official in Georgia. The wrongful death lawsuit claimed that he should have enclosed the property so that this type of accident wouldn't happen.

Court documents allege that the owner knew neighborhood children often trespassed on the property and swam in the pond. Because he was aware of their actions, he should have made the property safer by filling in the pool or placing a fence around it. The documents further request a jury trial in order to determine a fair compensation amount. In addition, they are requesting funeral costs of $9,000. The property owner has not commented on the accident due to the pending lawsuit, although he admitted the boy's death was a tragedy.

Because of the man's position in the town, residents attended a city council meeting in January to express their views. Some were calling for his resignation and circulated a petition demanding that he leave; however, they many have been unhappy with him for other reasons not related to the tragedy. Others advocated for him and pointed out the positive changes he has made in the city. The residents agree that they want what is best for their town, including growth.

After a wrongful death, a victim's family could pursue legal action against the responsible parties. A personal injury attorney might be able to convince a jury to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Source: My Southwest GA, 'Dawson residents voice their opinion on city manager to city council,"Colby Gallagher, Jan. 10, 2013

Source: Fox 31, "Prominent Dawson citizen being sued for wrongful death", Colby Gallagher, June 13, 2013

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