A Kansas City, Mo., jury has awarded $16 million in
compensatory damages to a teen who was left a quadriplegic
after diving off a pier where warning signs were not
properly displayed. However, the jury did say the diver was
partially at fault.
?Owners need to evaluate their facilities and
make sure warning signs and lifeguards are being properly
handled according to the standards in the
industry,? said John R. Fletemeyer, Ed.D., expert
witness to the plaintiff?s attorney.
The jury said that Quivira Inc., which manages the Lake
Quivira residential community, was 75 percent at fault for
the accident that took place on Aug. 3, 2005, and had to
pay the plaintiff, 18-year-old Brad-ley Hudspeth, $15
million, according to news reports.
While there was a posted warning that read ?No
diving from marked areas,? the jury concluded that
the sign was inadequate because it was on the beach,
approximately 150 feet from the pier. Furthermore, the pier
itself did not have any signs indicating shallow water or
?Fortunately, we had insurance
coverage,? said John Miller, the country
club?s general manager. ?But one thing I
learned is that you can never have too much
The jury also determined there was negligence on the
part of the pool management company. Finding Missouri
Valley Pool Management Inc. 5 percent at fault ($1
million), jurors asserted that the lifeguards were not
well-trained to handle the rescue and should?ve
have informed the country club about the hazard years ago,
Fletemeyer said. Finally, the jury found Hudspeth 20
percent at fault.