Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 4, 2020

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A Minnesota family has settled a lawsuit against the Minneapolis Golf Club for $8 million and the manufacturer of a pool drain for an undisclosed amount after their six year-old daughter died in what the nation saw as an unnecessary and horrific tragedy.

How cutting costs killed a child

The Minneapolis Golf Club has a wading pool on its premises. The pool has a drain that keeps the water pumping. However, when the Club’s maintenance crew repaired the drain, it didn’t do so correctly – and the consequences were simply unbelievable.

According to news sources, a six year old girl was in the wading pool and sat on the drain which, if installed correctly, would have sustained a weight of 500 pounds. Installed incorrectly, as it was by using cheaper materials, it only sustained a weight of 12 pounds. The girl’s intestines were ruptured and torn out as a result. She was hospitalized and had to undergo several surgeries, a triple organ transplant – one of which developed cancer and required her to also undergo chemotherapy – and died nine months after the incident.

Family sues and settles for $8M plus

Her family sued the Club and the drain manufacturer. They settled with the drain manufacturer for an undisclosed amount, but the manufacturer agreed to contribute $2 million in a foundation in the girl’s name – which is called Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation and is aimed at educating people about swimming pool safety and the need for organ donors. It also agreed to design a safer pool drain. The family then settled with the Club for $8 million – on the condition that the settlement would be made public and that the maintenance supervisor would be fired.

Several defendants & causes of action

This case shows why it’s important to hire an experienced attorney when several defendants and several causes of action are present. The drain manufacturer may have been liable for a defective or unsafe product, while the Golf Club may have been liable for negligence. An experienced attorney will be able to determine who’s liable under different theories of law. If you or loved one has been injured, contact an experienced Minnesota wrongful death attorney, consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.