Brenner Spiller & Archer

Princeton Pays $1.75 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

swimming pool wrongful death lawsuit new jerseyTaking legal action following a death can be one of the more difficult tasks of the mourning process. If you consider the death of a friend or loved one as the fault of another party, we strongly suggest you hire a professional to guide you through the process.

After 24-year-old Colin Simonelli died last year from drowning in a community pool in Princeton, New Jersey, his family moved forward with filing a lawsuit against the city. The suit argued that the lifeguards were not positioned correctly in the pool area.

Neil Weiner, the family’s attorney, suggested Colin suffered consciousness pain and suffering. During his visit to the pool, Colin suffered an acute cardiac arrest episode and was underwater for around six minutes before being pulled out by other swimmers. The suit also suggested Colin’s father suffered emotional distress while witnessing the incident.

Lifeguard Safety Procedures

The family argues that the lifeguards weren’t in their correct positions and failed to notice or react when Colin sank in the water. Lifeguards are taught to follow numerous rules to prevent harm to swimmers in open water or pools. Some common procedures include:

The 10:20 rule – The lifeguard scans the pool from one side to the other in ten seconds while the lifeguard is no more than 20 seconds away from a swimmer (in their designated area)

Environment and object awareness – The lifeguards understand which natural and man-made objects (such as logs, branches, animal, floats, rafts, diving boards, etc.) can cause harm and what type of harm they can cause.

Crossing lines of sight – The lines of sight of two lifeguards (placed on opposite sides of a pool) cross each other

This last procedure was specifically mentioned in the lawsuit. The suit claimed the two lifeguards on duty in the area were positioned on the same side of the pool when they should have been positioned on opposite sides. The lifeguards did, however, attempt CPR on Colin until paramedics arrived.

How to Proceed with a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Any loss of life is going to be difficult to handle. Should legal action be necessary, you should seek help from a professional who can help you through the entire process with guidance and support.

While we can’t reverse a tragic loss of someone you care about, our personal injury attorneys can help take a heavy task off of your hands. Contact us online or at 856-963-5000 for more information or to discuss your situation.