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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed After Man Died During Nudist Party

The widow of a man who drowned during a nudist party at a Penn Hills pool in 2007 has settled a wrongful death suit brought against the pool owner for $246,000.

The family of Ronald E. Daugherty sued Olympic Swim and Health Club earlier this year in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, saying the facility violated state law by not providing a lifeguard for a party held by the West Penn Naturist nudist club.

Mr. Daugherty, a 72-year-old retiree, drowned on April 14, 2007.

His death went unnoticed in the media, although the medical examiner’s office and Penn Hills police investigated. The cause of death was ruled accidental.


Lawyers for Mr. Daugherty’s widow, Barbara Daugherty, 74, of Westmoreland County, said in court filings that pool owner Mary Sullivan had a duty to provide a lifeguard under state law.

Ms. Sullivan countered that she had a 23-year agreement with the nudist club, which holds parties every other Saturday night at her pool, that they would take full responsibility for all activity during their events.

Ms. Sullivan said she turned her facility entirely over to them and had them sign a waiver to that effect.

“I was assured they had a lifeguard,” she said in January.

But Mrs. Daugherty’s lawyers said the waiver doesn’t matter and that she is liable as the owner.

Under the terms of the settlement, worked out in May and approved earlier this month by Judge Eugene Strassburger, Ms. Sullivan’s insurance carrier, Western World Insurance, will pay a total $246,000.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09240/993857-56.stm#ixzz0PoR1oFNs
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