Lifeguard Can Be Sued In Student's Drowning - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lifeguard Can Be Sued In Student's Drowning

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HASTINGS, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan appeals court says the family of a young man who drowned at a state-run school can sue the lifeguard.

William Beals had been at the Michigan Career and Technical Institute for a week when he drowned in a pool in 2009. Students with disabilities learn vocational skills at the school in Barry County.

Witnesses say lifeguard William Harmon seemed distracted that day while talking to girls and playing with a football. The 19-year-old Beals was considered a good swimmer, but he didn't emerge from the deep end of the pool.

The appeals court, in a 2-1 decision, agrees with a local judge who says allegations of gross negligence mean the lifeguard isn't entitled to governmental immunity.

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