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Drowning Incidents at Dams

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Firm News |

The CDC estimates that there are 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings and 8,000 nonfatal drownings each year. More than half of fatal and nonfatal drownings among people 15 years or older occur in natural waters like lakes, rivers, and oceans. Drowning injuries caused by nonfatal incidents can cause brain damage and other serious outcomes, including long-term disability.

Because of the risk of harm caused by drowning, we at Trauma Lawyers believe that public safety should be the utmost priority for municipalities that own natural waters such as lakes and rivers. Drowning injuries are only exacerbated by man-made futures such as low-head dams that create a recirculating current, causing people, boats, and other objects to be trapped for an extended period with little to no possibility of escape.

Trauma Lawyers’ lead attorney, Katherine Cárdenas, was shocked when she learned of how many people had been harmed by the low-head dam in Wilmington, Illinois. In 2016, she accepted and filed the case of Adame v. City of Wilmington to bring justice for the family of Eder and Abigail Arroyo who drowned in the Wilmington Dam. Eder Arroyo was 12 years old when he was pulled underwater. His 13-year-old sister Abigail Arroyo went in to try to save him and was swept underwater by the dam’s recirculating current. The attorneys at Trauma Lawyers were able to ensure that the family of the Arroyo children received justice by achieving a settlement from the City of Wilmington.

In 2018, Trauma Lawyers accepted and filed the case of Larson v. City of Wilmington after more preventable deaths continued to occur at the Wilmington Dam. One year after the Arroyo children’s death, Elizabeth Larson was trapped in the underwater vortex of the dam and ultimately died. Elizabeth Larson was 36 years old when she and her friend’s daughter, 6 years old at the time, went over the Wilmington Dam. Elizabeth and the 6-year-old she went over with fought for their lives threading water for an hour in the current until the child was rescued. While the child survived, Elizabeth’s tragic death marked the 68th  time someone had died or nearly died at the Wilmington Dam. Trauma Lawyers’ attorneys were able to obtain compensation for the family of Elizabeth Larson and ensure they recovered a fair settlement for the pain that they had endured.

Trauma Lawyers is dedicated to obtaining full compensation for people who have suffered major injuries due to drowning or have lost a loved one in a drowning accident. Our legal team handles every case with experience and compassion to make certain that you and your family get the justice you deserve after an injury or death. Call Trauma Lawyers at 312-781-0082 for a free consultation today.