After two long years, a settlement has finally been reached in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a young teenager who died while attending a pool party at Vista Murrieta High School. As of May 16, 2018, the suit has been settled, although the amount has not yet been disclosed. The case was set to go to trial, but a dismissal hearing will take place on July 2, now that a settlement has been reached.
The Tragic Incident
According to court documents, 13-year old Alex Pierce attended a school pool party on June 3, 2016 at Vista Murrieta High School. The event was organized by a booster club for middle-school choir and band students. Pierce was a seventh-grader at Dorothy McElhinney Middle School at the time.
According to eyewitnesses at the party, Pierce was underwater for two minutes until two students pulled him from the pool. The lifeguards did not perform CPR, and it was minutes before paramedics were able to attend to him. Pierce was placed on life support for over a month, and was finally declared brain dead on July 7, 2016. His family gathered by his side as he was removed from life support.
The Family’s Quest For Justice
The Pierce family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, seeking damages including the loss of love and companionship and economic damages to cover the costs of medical bills and funereal arrangements. Over the course of the lawsuit filing and the trial preparation, attorneys representing the Pierce family alleged that Vista Murrieta’s head swim and dive coach and advisor for the school’s lifeguarding club, who was present at the scene of the accident, did not make any effort to help Pierce.
Good, a certified lifeguard at the time, was found to be not on duty at the time of the incident. Attorneys for Pierce contended that Good must bear some responsibility, regardless of whether he was on duty at the time of Pierce’s accident. However, Good’s attorneys argued that Good could not be held accountable for any inaction because, as he was not on duty at the time, there was no legal obligation for him to help Pierce. While Good is still employed by the school district, he no longer is qualified or certified as a lifeguard or lifeguard instructor, Pierce’s attorneys report.
Even though a settlement has been reached, the Murrieta Valley Unified school board still needs to give their approval, according to district spokeswoman Karen Parris. This has been an incredibly difficult and emotional two years for the Pierce family, and their attorneys hope the family can finally receive some reprieve from all of the stress and sense of loss.
Murrieta Wrongful Death Firm Here to Help
Losing a loved one, especially at the hands of a negligent person, can be overwhelmingly stressful and overwhelming. Fortunately, Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation is here to help. If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s inaction or recklessness, you deserve to understand your options for seeking justice. Contact our compassionate firm today to learn more about how to hold the negligent parties responsible and receive compensation for your unimaginable suffering.