A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Chicago Park District over the Rogers Park drowning of a 19-year-old college student.
Lack of Safety Devices and Signage
The tragic Rogers Park drowning occurred on August 22, 2021. On that date, Miguel Cisneros drowned in Lake Michigan after he jumped off Pratt Pier in Rogers Park’s Tobey Prinz Beach Park to go for a swim.
On September 16, 2021, a personal injury attorney filed suit against the Chicago Park District on behalf of Maria Diaz, the mother of the deceased. According to the wrongful death lawsuit, bystanders desperately searched for a flotation device to assist the victim while he was drowning, only to find none available.
The lawsuit alleges that the Park District had previously promised to place 140 water rescue stations along the city’s lakefront, including near the location of the Rogers Park drowning, but did not do so.
The suit further argues that the Chicago Park District was aware of a previous drowning in the vicinity, that it had failed to repaint safety markings at the location, and that a sign posted nearby instructed swimmers “to call for someone to throw a life ring or anything that floats to save an individual that may be having difficulty swimming and/or drowning.”
Rogers Park Drowning Prompts Standoff
Neighbors claim they have been pushing for life rings and better water safety measures at the beach for years. In the wake of the Rogers Park drowning, a standoff emerged between area residents and the Chicago Park District. In the weeks following the incident, residents began placing unsanctioned life rings at the pier, only to have the Park District remove them each time.
On September 10, the Chicago Park District finally placed two sanctioned life rings at Tobey Prinz Beach Park, including one at Pratt Pier. The move represented a reversal in Park District policy. Previously, the agency had announced a pilot program to install life rings across Chicago’s lakefront ONLY in areas that were already deemed “safety to swim,” unlike the site of the Rogers Park drowning.
In response to the Chicago Park District’s actions, Ms. Diaz, along with other area residents and water safety advocates, argued that one life ring at Pratt Pier is not enough, insisting that the Park District needs to place life rings throughout the ENTIRE lakefront.
“This is more than Miguel,” said Ms. Diaz.
Advocating for the Families Left Behind
The death of a close family member or loved one is devastating, particularly when it is the result of somebody else’s negligence. While no amount of money can bring that person back, GWC Injury Lawyers LLC is dedicated to helping the surviving families of wrongful death ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions.
With over $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the leading Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. Our personal injury attorneys have fought tirelessly on behalf of the victims of negligence for more than four decades. We have the experience, the determination, the resources, and the reputation of success necessary to get you and your family the justice you deserve.
Contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our dedicated personal injury attorneys. You may call us at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.