Chicago School Board Sued by Mother of Boy who Drowned

Earlier this year, at Southwest Side’s high school, a special education student drowned in the school swimming pool.  On January 25, 2017, Rosario Gomez, a 14-year-old that has previously been diagnosed with autism, entered the Kennedy High School swimming pool with a group of special education students.  According to a lawsuit filed earlier this week by his mother, the boy did not know how to swim and the pool was left unattended by the lifeguard on duty; the lifeguard was distracted using a computer in a nearby office.  

The lawsuit alleges that Kennedy High School either “knew or should have known” Rosario’s cognitive disabilities “and special needs made it difficult for him to appreciate the dangers of a swimming pool.”  This made it more difficult for Rosario to communicate in an emergency or when he required help.  In addition, the lawsuit claims that Rosario did not have a “buddy” before going into the swimming pool and that “the lifeguard in charge was using a computer in a nearby office while the special needs students were in the water.”  He was found unconscious in a section of the pool that was 4 to 6 feet deep, once paramedics arrived, they performed CPR and took him to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, IL.

The lawsuit explains that Rosario “was allowed to struggle and drown…without any intervention” by a school official and that he was at the bottom of the pool long enough to “render subsequent efforts at resuscitation unsuccessful.”  Rosario’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit in attempts to hold the Chicago Board of Education’s actions, or lack thereof, responsible.  The lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court and seeks more than $100,000 in damages.  A spokesman for Chicago Public Schools declined to comment on the situation, citing the pending litigation.

 

For more information, follow the link below.

Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-chicago-student-drowning-lawsuit-met-20170303-story.html

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