Fayetteville, North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Teen’s Drowning Accident in Drainage Ditch Can Continue, Says Judge

August 18, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

An appellate court judge in Fayetteville says that the North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of 17-year-old Jesse Marquil King can go forward. King drowned in August 2005 after he fell into a flooded ditch during a rainstorm. The ditch’s pipe dragged the teenager under the water. His family is suing the city of Fayetteville for his drowning death and is accusing the city of negligent maintenance of the drain system.

In a unanimous decision, the three-judge panel agreed that North Carolina law doesn’t provide immunity against the state when it comes to operating storm drains. This ruling upholds a trial judge’s decision and allows the Fayetteville wrongful death lawsuit to move forward.

Premises Liability Lawsuits
Property owners and managers are supposed to make sure that there is no condition on the premise that could lead to personal injury or wrongful death. Inadequate maintenance, when a landowner neglects to maintain a premise or something on the property that could cause injury, is one reason for filing a North Carolina premises liability civil complaint for damages if someone gets hurt.

Storm drains are supposed to help drain water or melting snow off the streets so that the streets don’t flood. Unfortunately, storm drain accidents are not uncommon, especially if the grate has some defect that allows a person or a bicycle to fall into it. Fall accidents can lead to broken bones, dislocated body parts, neck injuries, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and neck injuries. In King’s case, falling into a storm drain caused him to drown.

Government and safety officials can be held liable if there is an unsafe condition on a road that causes an injury or death to happen.

Ruling allows wrongful death suit against Fayetteville to proceed, FayObserver.com, August 5, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Read the Court’s Opinion (PDF)

Premises Liability Overview, Justia


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