Family Receives $10 Million Jury Award as Negligence in Special Olympian’s Tragic Death Comes to Light

GREENWICH, Conn. – A jury has awarded a family $10 million in a negligence lawsuit against a Connecticut facility in the death of a Special Olympian. The verdict was reached in the case of a 19-year-old athlete, who drowned during a swim practice session.

The tragic incident occurred at the University of Connecticut-Avery Point campus in 2017. The athlete, identified as T.J., was participating in a swim practice as part of a Special Olympics training program. T.J. had Down syndrome and was a member of the Special Olympics since he was 10.

According to the family’s lawyers, T.J.’s death was a result of the facility’s negligence. They argued that the facility failed to properly train staff members on water safety protocols and failed to adequately supervise the athletes during the practice session. Furthermore, they claimed that there was a lack of lifeguards present, even though the facility required their presence.

The jury agreed with the family’s claims and found the facility responsible for T.J.’s death. In their verdict, they awarded the family $10 million to compensate for their loss.

T.J.’s family hopes that this verdict will bring attention to the importance of safety measures and supervision in programs serving individuals with disabilities. They believe that no other family should have to experience the heartbreak they have gone through.

The University of Connecticut-Avery Point campus has not issued a statement regarding the verdict. It is unclear whether they plan to appeal the decision or take any further action.

This case serves as a reminder of the duty facilities have in ensuring the safety and well-being of their participants, especially when they are serving individuals with disabilities. Proper training, supervision, and adherence to safety protocols are essential in preventing tragedies like this.

The $10 million awarded to the family reflects the significance of their loss and the jury’s recognition of the facility’s negligence. It is hoped that this verdict will prompt other facilities to actively prioritize the safety and security of all individuals involved in their programs.