On September 25th the parents of a 5-year-old boy who drowned last year at Crofton County Club in Anne Arundel County were awarded more than $4 million in damages.
The judge ordered DRD Pool Service Inc., the county club’s management company, to pay Thomas Free and Debra Neagle Webber $2,000,076 each. The $76 serves as a symbol of Connor Freed’s July 6th birthday. DRD was found negligent for failing to adequately train its lifeguards and properly staff the pool.
On June 22, 2006, when Conner was found floating in the Crofton County Club pool, a 16-year-old lifeguard who had been on the job for three weeks was on duty. Currently, in Anne Arundel County only one lifeguard is required for every 50 swimmers.
Conner was at the pool with a family friend, Paul Carroll, and two other children. The jury did not award a judgment against Carroll who had also been name in the wrongful death lawsuit.
Conner’s parents have started a foundation in their son’s honor called Conner Cares. The foundation works to create standardized and more stringent safety requirements at public pools.
Drowning is one of the most, if not the most, preventable cause of childhood deaths. Businesses and facilities that fail to properly supervise children should be held accountable.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Wrongful Death.