October 17, 2012 in City

Family given $2 million in drowning

Wenatchee student could not swim
Associated Press
 

WENATCHEE – The family of a student who drowned in a Wenatchee High School swimming pool has reached a $2 million settlement in a negligence lawsuit filed against the Wenatchee School District.

The body of 14-year-old Antonio Reyes was found at the bottom of the deep end of the pool on Nov. 17, after he participated in a physical education class.

According to his parents, Reyes could not swim. He may have been underwater for as long as 40 minutes before his body was discovered by classmates.

The family filed a $15 million lawsuit contending the school failed to follow reasonable safety procedures and was grossly negligent, creating the conditions that led to Reyes’ death.

“This was a horrible accident that was completely preventable,” said Sim Osborn, attorney for the boy’s family.

School officials were not immediately available for comment.

Osborn said the settlement will allow the family to move on with their lives.

The settlement also called for some reforms, including that the district will have a certified lifeguard on duty when people are in the pool, and that greater efforts will be made to evaluate the ability of students to swim.

Reyes was among 26 students in a physical education class when the drowning occurred. The group was supervised by a teacher and there was no separate lifeguard present, according to the Wenatchee police report.

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