The family of the 9-year-old boy who drowned in a city pool is seeking $15 million from the city, according to a wrongful death claim filed in City Hall.
Jameson Auciel, died on Aug. 20, three days after he was pulled unconscious from the McGrane Pool in Providence city’s West End.
Jameson had been floating face down in the 3- to 4-foot public pool. His cousin, Gamaelle Bazelais, 8, was also found floating face down and unconscious in the pool. Both were rushed to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.
City officials have not offered specifics on what transpired at the pool that day that ultimately led to Jameson’s death and the near-drowning of his cousin. A state medical examiner’s report completed Sept. 4 determined that Jameson died of a lack of oxygen to the brain brought on by drowning.
In its Sept. 14 claim against the city, the Auciel family says that a “reckless and grossly negligent act” by one or more city employees led to Jameson’s death. The suit is actually three separate claims each filed by the Estate of Jameson Auciel, Carline Myrthil (Jameson’s mother), and Karlveen Auciel (his younger brother).
The city and police concluded that the pool had capacity for 270 bathers, and that 25 to 45 swimmers were there at the time. With three lifeguards on duty, and nine other staffers present, the pool was adequately supervised, according to the report.
But witnesses said that one of the lifeguards was wearing headphones and that at least one staff member ignored entreaties from a pool patron to check on the floating kids. Other witnesses said they thought the children were just pretending to drown.
Jameson, who was 5 feet tall, was found first, floating in water at one end of the pool. The lifeguards, all juveniles, pulled him out and administered CPR. Gamaelle was discovered a short time later, and was also administered CPR.
It’s not clear who first determined that the children were unresponsive in the pool. Gamaelle was revived on the scene, but Jameson was not.
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