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Family of drowned Chicago woman sues Park District

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a Chicago area Park District for failing to warn of a hazard that the Park District knew about. While on a fishing trip last summer the woman’s 4 year old son fell into the Kankakee River. The woman jumped into the water after her son. The boy’s uncle and another nearby former Marine sergeant also went after the boy. All three of them died. They were in an area by the South Island Dam, which is one of several low-head dams in Illinois. Once the woman, uncle, and former Marine were trapped in the roiling waters by the dam, they were unable to escape.

Prior to these three drownings last year, the Park District knew of 15 other drowning deaths in the past 25 years. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the Park District was willful and wanton in its disregard for people’s safety by not posting signs about the hazards of the water and by not ensuring that people did not get drawn in to the dangerous currents.

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