The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

March 14, 2013

City files response to drowning lawsuit

By BRAD KELLAR
Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — The City of Greenville has responded to a lawsuit which alleged it was negligent in the drowning death of a boy at a municipal reservoir last summer.

Attorneys Darrell G.M. Noga and Michael J. Merrick presented the city’s answer Monday to the suit filed in January byTireiger Micky and Echensia Hassan, who are suing for damages in the June 11, 2012 death of their son, 3 year-old Ledaro Micky.

The city’s response includes a general denial of the claims raised in the suit, while also arguing the parents were at least partially at fault for what occurred, “by ignoring posted signs prohibiting such recreational use at the location Plaintiffs used.”

No hearings concerning the suit had been scheduled in the 354th District Court as of Wednesday.

The suit was filed against the city and the Greenville Electric Utility System (GEUS).

A current under the waters of Municipal Reservoir No. 4 posed “an unreasonable risk of harm” according to the litigation.

Micky was on a fishing trip with hs family when he fell into the water in a pond near a culvert next to the GEUS power plant at the reservoir. The power plant was operating at the time and drawing water into the facility.

An official statement released by the City of Greenville indicated Micky fell into the south side of the small pond adjacent to the reservoir. The child’s father attempted to grab Micky from the water but was unable to pull him to safety due to the current.

Once the power plant pumps were shut off, divers entered the water, while boats with sonar and drag equipment began searching the area.

Micky’s body was recovered the next morning from the north side of the small pond adjacent to the reservoir. It was believed that the swift water carried the child through the inlet under the roadway and into other side of the pond.

The lawsuit filed by attorney David R. Ragsdale of Carrolton placed blame for the incident on the city and the utility.

The city’s answer alleged the incident was caused “in whole or in part” by the negligence of the parents, due to “the failure to obey signs prohibiting recreational use in the area where Plaintiff’s were located.”

The response also faulted the parents for not having the child wear a flotation device and argued they should not have allowed him to be near the water unsupervised.