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Friday, October 11, 2019

No Federal Due Process Liability for Accident in City Swimming Pond

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently dismissed a case against a Wisconsin City involving an accident in a public swimming pond. Estate of Swannie Her v. City of West Bend (7th Cir. 9/6/19)

The City of West Bend, Wisconsin owns and operates a public park that includes a man-made swimming pond. The pond is divided into 3 zones, including a children's play area, a diving area, and a general swimming area. Six year old Swannie Her was at the park with her family when she left the children's play area of the pond to enter the diving area. She was found unresponsive at the bottom of the pond, and later died. Shortly thereafter, her family sued the City in federal court, claiming among other things that the City violated due process when it "created the danger" in operating a man-made swimming pond. The 7th Circuit rejected those claims, finding that the court would not impose a federal due process duty on the City for operating a swimming pond. 


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