Jane Doe v. Anonymous – $1,000,000 Wrongful Death Settlement
About the case
PCVA attorneys Loren Cochran and Cole Douglas, working with attorney John Kannin of the Kannin Law Firm, reached a $1,000,000 settlement with an apartment complex where a seven-year-old girl drowned in the common area pool.
The girl and her family were refugees from the war-torn country of Sudan. They had escaped genocidal violence in Darfur and relocated to an apartment community in Lakewood, Washington.
On June 8, 2015, a swimmer bumped into the girl’s body lying at the bottom of the apartment complex’s pool. No witnesses saw the girl go into the water, and she was still wearing her street clothes and shoes when she was pulled out of the water. Lifesaving efforts by first responders and medical staff at Tacoma’s Mary Bridge Hospital and Seattle Children’s were unsuccessful.
PCVA filed suit under Washington’s wrongful death statute on behalf of the child’s estate and her parents alleging that the seven-year-old never should have been able to enter the pool area alone. The apartment complex opened the pool despite not having an adequate safety gate, any supervision in place or necessary emergency procedures in effect that would keep children safe in the pool area. The case settled prior to trial.