Fatal Michigan Drowning Accident of Teen Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Criminal Charges

The family of KeAir Swift is suing the East Detroit Public Schools, the Professional Educational Services Group, three school principals, the Macomb Intermediate School District and substitute teacher Johnathan Sails for the 14-year-old’s Michigan wrongful death. Sails is also charged with involuntary manslaughter in Swift’s fatal drowning. The 24-year-old, who was filling in as a swimming instructor, has pleaded not guilty.

KeAir’s family says the boy did not know how to swim. On November 8, he drowned in the school pool where he was supposed to have been supervised by Sails and another teacher. Sails’ defense lawyer contends that his client’s job was to supervise the pool along with the lead teacher and that he was the one who jumped into the water to try to rescue the boy when it became clear he was in trouble.

Meantime, authorities are saying that Sails misrepresented his certification and that rather than staying poolside he was in the bleachers when KeAir was in trouble. They also claim that the teacher went to the locker to change his clothes instead of trying to help the boy right away.

KeAir’s mother contends that the pool didn’t have a lifeguard on duty, lacked the proper safety equipment, and was inadequately supervised even though there were a lot of beginner nonswimmers and swimmers. She wants damages for her son’s Michigan drowning death.

Drowning and Swimming Pool Accidents

It takes just a few minutes for a small child to drown in water—and not more than several inches of water is even necessary for this to happen. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in the US and the number two cause for kids under the age of 15. Kids who are lucky enough to survive a near drowning are often left with permanent brain injuries and other disabilities. At The Gilbert Law Group®, our swimming accident lawyers represent the families of children who sustained serious injury or died because of a pool defect or other negligence involving a swimming pool.

As the parent of a child who was injured or killed in a drowning accident, you may be able to pursue damages from a negligent property owner, pool operator, or the party charged with supervising the pool area when the incident happened. Property owners are supposed to make sure that kids cannot get into the water unsupervised and when no adults are in the area. They also need to make sure there is safety equipment nearby and that there are no hazards, including a pool drain that fails to meet safety requirements. Debris should be cleared away from the water at all times so that anyone who is drowning can be detected. The pool area should be free of hazards that could cause a slip and fall accident or some other type of injury incident.

Please contact our swimming pool accident lawyers to find out whether you have grounds for a case. The Gilbert Law Group® also represents clients involved in drowning accidents in hot tubs, inflatable pools, private pools, public pools, and residential pools and saunas.


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