Yesterday, the parents of James Becker filed a $40 million Maryland personal injury lawsuit against the Woodcroft Swim Club and D.R.D. Pool Management Inc. They are accusing the defendants of failing to recognize and respond in timely manner to their son’s near drowning accident on July 29, 2006 and of neglecting to properly resuscitate him.
According to plaintiffs Mary Becker and William J. Becker III, James, then 15, was deprived of adequate oxygen to his brain for approximately 10 minutes. Paramedics arrived at the scene 13 minutes after the teenager was discovered without a pulse. By the time that they could feel James’s pulse, he had already sustained a traumatic brain injury.
The Becker family is seeking $36 million for James, who will require special care for the rest of his life, $3 million for expenses his parents have incurred as a result of his traumatic brain injury, and $1 million for Mary Becker, who experienced the trauma of seeing her son almost drown in the pool.
James, now 18, attends a special school for children who are developmentally disabled or have special needs. He is severely disabled, unable to speak, and must use a wheelchair. He should have been attending college this year.
The attorney representing the defendants says that James sustained a traumatic brain injury not because he almost drowned but because he had a heart attack while in the pool. The defendants deny any negligence on their part.
Near drowning accidents can lead to permanent traumatic brain injuries. This type of injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen for an extended amount of time. Sometimes, it can take several years to know the full effects of a brain injury sustained during a near drowning accident.
Caring for someone with a traumatic brain injury can be very costly. It can also be devastating for the victim, who may no longer be able to live a normal life.
Youth’s parents sue swim club for brain damage, The Baltimore Sun, July 24, 2009
Family Of Injured Teen Sues Swim Club For $40M, WBALTV.com, July 23, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Water-Related Injuries: Fact Sheet, CDC
Injury Facts Drowning, Safe Kids USA