On July 11, 2017, Cohen Milstein, on behalf of Plaintiff, Carlos Pelico Lopez, as the Personal Representative for the Estate of his deceased daughter, Y.A.P., filed a Second Amended Complaint against Defendants Heritage Square Agency, Howe, Inc., Yorktown Association, Inc., Georgetown Association, Inc., Howe, Inc., and Jamestown Association, Inc., for the drowning death of Plaintiff’s daughter that occurred on their property. The matter was set for trial but the Cohen Milstein team successfully settled the matter in September 2018 during mediation.
On September 30, 2016, in the late afternoon, Y.A.P. drowned in an unsupervised, freely accessible pool that was owned, operated, and maintained by the Defendants. She and her friend, D.N., had just finished their homework at D.N.’s parents’ Jamestown apartment. At the pool, they met another friend, L.L. Despite not having a key to access the pool area, they were able to enter through an unlocked, unsecured gate. Despite the bad, stormy weather, the three children played for some time, engaging in horseplay, and pushing each other into the pool. Unfortunately, Y.A.P. could not swim.
Despite L.L.’s best efforts, he was not able to get Y.A.P. help in time. The safety hook and flotation device were partially hidden. The pool’s thick, colored safety line was in a closed storage closet. The Defendants had no one watching, attending, or supervising the pool, nor did they have anyone within earshot. The only help L.L. could find was a UPS driver who just happened to be delivering a package nearby. Tragically, by the time emergency crews arrived, Y.A.P. was unresponsive. The family removed her from life support the following day.
The Plaintiff contends that his daughter’s death was preventable. In Florida, an owner of a public pool has a duty to make sure that pool is reasonably safe, including controlling access to the pool by minors. For instance, Chapter 64E-9 of Florida’s Administrative Code requires all public pools to have an “effective barrier,” which means an alarm and/or key lock or self-locking doors and gates. The American National Standard for Public Swimming Pools requires that for pools not staffed by lifeguards or attendants that persons use a physical key or key card to enter. Here, the Defendants violated these and many other important safety rules.
Through this lawsuit the Plaintiff intends to hold the Defendants accountable for the death of his daughter and is seeking to be made whole from the harms, losses, and damages that was caused by their negligence.
The case is Pelico v. Yorktown Association Inc., Case No. 5 0-2017-CA-002941-XXXX, in the Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County, Florida.