MINNEAPOLIS (May 9, 2014) – Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman announced today that they are commencing litigation against the parties responsible for Abdullahi Charif’s tragic and wholly preventable death.
On February 27, 2014, 12-year-old Abdullahi Charif was found unresponsive at the bottom of the St. Louis Park Middle School swimming pool. Two days later, Abdullahi was removed from life support after being pronounced brain dead and died shortly thereafter.
Abdullahi’s drowning occurred during gym class. The gym teacher, who was not certified as a lifeguard, was the only adult present. 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.
The complaint has been served upon the school district and the gym teacher. It summarizes the claims of the deceased child’s family including but not limited to:
- Failure to properly supervise Abdullahi despite knowing he was unable to swim
- Using an IPad while the teacher should have been watching the children in the pool
- Bringing an unapproved and dangerous flotation device and allowing children, including Abdullahi, to roughhouse on it
- Allowing Abdullahi and others to play on the device in the deep end of the pool
- Failure to notice that Abdullahi was on the bottom of the deep end of the pool for several minutes, even after all of the other children had left the pool
- Failure on the part of the school board to have policies and procedures in place that would have prevented this tragic occurrence
As the complaint and the records on which it is based make clear, the school district and the teacher responsible for safeguarding this child utterly failed to do so. The complaint calls for a change in swimming pool safety practices as well as seeking fair compensation Abdullahi’s family.
For more information or further inquires, please contact Fred Pritzker or Eric Hageman at 612-338-0202.