We are sorry for the loss of your child. As one client said, his family “mourned in excruciating pain” over the loss of his son. The case is discussed below, and you can read more, in the father’s own words, about how our law firm helped his family after his son drowned in a swimming pool.

Family Whose Child Drowned in a Swimming Pool during Gym Class

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman represented the family of 12-year-old Abdullahi Charif, who was found unresponsive at the bottom of the St. Louis Park Middle School swimming pool. Two days later, he was removed from life support after being pronounced brain dead and died shortly thereafter.

This occurred during gym class. The teacher, who was not certified as a lifeguard, was the only adult present and our investigation found that he was looking at his iPad.

There were as many as 30 seventh graders in the class. Pool conditions, including lighting and water temperature, were not in compliance with Minnesota regulations.

They filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school district.

Our clients wanted those responsible held accountable and to help effectuate changes in the law to help prevent other children from getting injured or killed while in a public pool.

You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or use our free consultation form to contact Fred and Eric for your free consultation.

Abigail Taylor Pool Safety Act

Eric Hageman Lawyer
Attorney Eric Hageman

Attorney Eric Hageman worked on the Abigail Taylor case. Six-year-old Abigail Taylor died as a result of injuries from a wading pool drain accident. As she sat on an open drain in the wading pool; the heavy suction at the drain caused her intestinal tract to be partially removed.

The Minnesota law, the Abigail Taylor Pool Safety Act, requires licensure and inspection of all public pools in the state, expanded the definition of public pools to include those connected with apartment buildings and townhomes, some fitness centers and more.

The law also requires owners to make immediate and future changes to ensure the safety of users. Owners may have received information by mail from the Minnesota Department of Health or a local health agency about requirements of the new law.

As a requirement of the law, public pool owners must provide information to the Minnesota Department of Health about their pools and the drain covers in order to renew or receive a license to operate. The drain covers must meet industry standards, be properly installed and not be broken or loose.

Statistics from the CDC

The CDC published statistics on drownings in the August 22, 2014 issue of MMWR:

  • 3,961 deaths from unintentional drowning;
  • The death rate for males was 2.05 per 100,000 population, almost four times the rate for females (0.52);
  • Males aged 1–4 years had the highest rate (3.67); and
  • Death rates for both genders increased with age after age 5–24 years.

Get Help

Your family can sue for compensation and justice if your child drowned in a swimming pool or hot tub and the facts of your case support your wrongful death claim. These tragic cases often involve a school (yes, you can sue a school for wrongful death), community center or hotel.