Lawsuit Filed in Florida Drowning

Lawsuit Filed in Florida Drowning

A Florida family is suing a community center over the drowning of their 8-year-old daughter. The Tampa based Westchase community association, its management company and their affiliated swim team are all being named in the lawsuit.

The family, Keith and Diana Appleby, are seeking legal aid because they say the community center never responded to their questions about potential safety violations in their daughter’s drowning. The event occurred about six months ago and the community center had promised to inform the Applebys of any information once the Sheriff’s Office had completed its criminal investigation. The Sheriff’s investigation ended over a month ago without further word from the community center.

The girl, Kiana Appleby, was practicing with her swim team on May 5 at the community center pool. A rainstorm was approaching so the team was told to leave the pool and seek shelter under an overhang. When they did so, some members of the team noticed Kiana was missing.

A staff member counted the children under the overhang, and then went inside to check the restrooms. He then left the restrooms and checked the pool, finally spotting the girl in the deep end, drowned.

In the lawsuit, swim coach Graig Fischer, assistant coach Jessica Reed and lifeguard Matthew McCausey were all responsible for the pool’s safety on the day of the incident. The suit alleges that the three did not check the pool when evacuations were ordered. The suit also states that no one walked around the pool or did a head count.

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