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Family sues city after man drowns at dam during rescue

According to reports, a lawsuit filed regarding the death of a 59-year-old man in Geneva, Illinois, will be heading back to court. The wrongful death suit was filed by the family of the deceased man against the city of Geneva for what the man's relatives believe to be improper monitoring of the Geneva dam. Court documents show that a hearing is scheduled for this month and the suit's dismissal will be discussed.

The incident occurred on Aug. 5, 2011 when the man, who was from Naperville, Illinois, took two boys fishing. Both boys were 12 years old at the time of the man's death. According to reports, the Naperville man took the boys near the Geneva dam, which the suit claims is known to be dangerous. According to that claim, adults and children should be extremely careful when close to the dam on land or near the downstream side of it.

The undertow of the dam caught one of the boys during the fishing trip. The 59-year-old entered the water in an attempt to save the boy. While struggling, the man was seen by a group of bicyclists from Naperville who happened to be riding through Geneva while he attempted a rescue. Police were contacted and, while emergency services were on the way, some of the bicyclists attempted to rescue the struggling man and child.

Officials from Geneva entered the water and pulled both the man and the boy to the shore. The boy survived the ordeal but the 59-year-old could not be resuscitated. His family wants the city to be held liable for the man's death. The suit acknowledges the fact that there are signs noting the dangers of the dam, but it goes on to say that the area should have been roped off. The outcome of the dismissal hearing could go either way.

Source: Geneva Patch, "Fox River Drowning Wrongful Death Suit Returns to Court," Rick Nagel, Dec. 8, 2012

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