The family of a woman who drowned at the Astoria Aquatic Center in June 2007 is expected to settle their wrongful death lawsuit with the Oregon city of Astoria out of court.
Jung Min Kim, 34, was found unconscious at the bottom of the center’s lap pool on June 6, 2007 and died soon after. According to a police report, she may have been underwater for as long as 10 minutes before anyone noticed she was there.
Kim’s husband Joo Dong Park, who had been attending Oregon State University as a graduate school at the time of the accident, filed the Oregon wrongful death lawsuit. The complaint accuses city employees and agents of negligence that it is calling a “substantial factor” in Kim’s death.
The suit accuses the center of failing to make sure there were enough lifeguards monitoring the pool, neglecting to respond quickly enough to Park’s request that they help him find his wife, failing to provide lifeguards that were properly trained, failing to provide easily accessible lifesaving emergency equipment, and negligence when they stopped CPR resuscitation efforts prematurely.
Park had asked for $500,000 in noneconomic damages and $100,000 for economic damages, including medical costs and death expenses. His settlement with the city of Astoria was reached a few days before the wrongful death trial was about to start. A structured settlement, however, has not been publicly announced.
Astoria initially had said that Kim’s own negligent actions while swimming had caused her to hit her head on the side of the pool, become unconscious, and drown. The city had also said that government workers are immune from claims dealing with emergency medical assistance unless there is evidence proving that they violated reasonable care standards.
Oregon Wrongful Death
Losing someone you love is never easy—especially if their death was a result of an accident that was caused by another party’s negligence. In addition to economic costs, there also may be other losses, such as the loss of companionship and other traumas that come with losing a mother, father, husband, wife, son, or daughter.
An experienced Portland wrongful death law firm can help you determine whether you have grounds to file a claim for your loved one’s death.
Tort Reform, State of Oregon (PDF)
Bills and Laws, Oregon State Legislature