Granger family who lost two kids in retention pond crash files lawsuit claiming negligence


Rescue teams tow a minibus that slid into a holding pond on University Drive in Mishawaka on Tuesday. Two children died in the accident.

A lawsuit arising from a Retaining pool crash that killed two children In December 2019, he blamed the accident on neglect and poor training from the 911 dispatch center, first responders and government officials, and improper design of the Dispatch and Blessing Center program.

The accident killed 4-year-old James Cleven and 2-year-old Natalie Cleven, and seriously injured their mother, Brooke Cleven, and infant brother, Hendrik Cleven. A car carrying all four family members skidded off the slick road on University Park Drive and went to a pool retention Close to the Red Roof Inn and across from Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Accident report Released in February 2020 by the 911 dispatch center in St. Joseph County, it was found that first responders had been delayed at the scene due to actions by two call takers at the dispatch center.

The lawsuit, which was filed by the Cleven family on Monday, alleges that these dispatchers acted recklessly and willfully in the incident. The lawsuit goes on to say, however, that the county’s 911 dispatch center has consistently failed to train call-takers in new software and protocols surrounding water rescue cases.

The suit also names Motorola, which created a new program for the 911 Center, Mishawaka City, the Clay Township Fire Department and Great Lakes Capitol And Bradley Company, which owns and operates the property in which the pond is located.

Joseph County District Attorney Michael Mich declined to comment, saying the county does not comment on the pending lawsuit. Ray Schultz, executive director of the Dispatch Center, declined to comment.

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The Klevins were trapped in the car in the freezing water for more than 25 minutes before rescue divers pulled them over. James and Natalie Clevin were pronounced dead in hospital shortly after their arrival, while Hendrik Clevin, who was 3 months old at the time of the accident, and his mother survived.

The Chicago-based Maureen Molly Nick Company represents the Cleven family who live in Granger. The company’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a reporter on Friday.

Send “pitfalls”

On the afternoon of December 31, 2019, Brooke Cleven was driving her kids east on University Park Drive when she lost control of her car in icy conditions and skidded off the road and into a storage puddle. Investigators from the St Joseph County Fatal Crash Team said there were no indications that Brock Cleven was a speeder.

When Calvin’s car entered the pond, dispatchers received two calls alerting them to current events.

The first call came from a bystander watching the accident and was answered by Jeffrey Downey, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The dispatch center’s report found that Downey “missed an opportunity to quickly locate the pond” in part because the mapping software used to locate the call was blocked by a web browser it was searching for. Downey also coded the call as an accident, not as a vehicle in the water, which delayed the diving teams’ arrival, lawsuit, and status report.

The second call came from Brooke Kleven who called 911 from inside her car as water began to submerge the car.

The center’s report and lawsuit say Jennifer Statsworth, dispatcher on the other end of the line, failed to follow protocols by not immediately telling Brooke Cleven how to get out of the car as soon as she learned Calvin was trapped.

more:Report shows ‘deficiencies’ in 911’s handling of the deadly Mishwaka Pool crash

Additionally, Stitsworth at one point muted herself to seek help from other dispatchers, but forgot to turn her voice back when she began giving directions to Kleven again.

Stitsworth was fired and Downey resigned as a result of the incident, with Downey writing in his resignation email that he “can no longer serve an organization that has grossly neglected staff training and mistreated staff the way they have done over the past two years.”

In the conclusion of the center’s report, Schultz wrote that it would be “mere speculation” to suggest that the outcome would have changed had it not been for the dispatchers’ “slips”.

According to the lawsuit, Brock Cleven suffers from intermittent hemiplegia, while Hendrik Cleven has lost control of a limb and has a speech disorder.

The lawsuit also says the pool was not in compliance with government regulations governing storage ponds and names such as defendants Great Lakes Capitol and Bradley Company, which owns and operates the City Plaza shopping mall where the pool is located.

Company representatives did not respond to messages seeking comment on Friday.

Mishwaka City was also named in the lawsuit for failing to inspect the pond and put up barriers afterwards previously documented Retention pool crashes.

City attorney Pat Henkel declined to comment.

The lawsuit does not ask for a specific monetary amount, but rather asks for “compensation, economic losses, special losses, special damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.”

Email Marek Mazurek at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: marek_mazurek

This article originally appeared on the South Bend Tribune: Pool crash suit Granger Michoaca St. Joseph County 911 dispatch

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