A death that shook a family, neighborhood, and community is still under investigation according to a recent news report. Amari Harley, age 3, died on October 22 after getting stuck in a city septic tank system at a City of Jacksonville (Duval County) park. The death certificate listed “accidental drowning” as the cause of death. This means, that following the autopsy, it was determined that the drowning was the cause of the death rather than some other cause like a stroke, heart attack, or some kind of unknown or previously undiagnosed congenital medical condition. While the cause of death has been established, the preventability and safety measures surrounding this incident are still under investigation.
This raises the question as to whether the City of Jacksonville should be held liable for the death of this child. In other words, is the City of Jacksonville legally liable for this “accidental drowning”? When evaluating a legal case involving a personal injury, research is often conducted by an attorney in form of a review of allocable laws, statutes, ordinances, and case law. It is important that there is legal precedence or authority to pursue a case or claim on behalf of the injured child and the family. There are essentially four elements associated with a negligence case or claim as follows:
1 – Duty;