Case: Estate of John & Alex Doe, Individually v. ABC Corporation, West Palm Beach, 2015
Synopsis: Twin toddlers John & Alex managed to escape their crib and access their backyard pool after getting past sliding doors with malfunctioning locks. One of the toddlers drowned while the other survived the tragic incident but suffered severe brain injuries due to anoxia.
Result: The surviving twin, as well as the parents, filed a lawsuit against the manager and operator of the leased residence. The case was ultimately settled for $11.8 million.
On Thanksgiving Day of 2015, twins John and Alex Doe were left in their crib inside one of the bedrooms of their leased home. Their mother, while she remained in the same room, was fast asleep.
The toddler twins managed to escape from the crib and make their way to the home's living room. They traversed the living room and reached the backyard sliding doors. It appears that the locks on said doors were malfunctioning (as reported by the twin's parents) so the young children were able to access the backyard where the pool was.
Tragically, no pool fence or other barrier was present to prevent the children from falling in. The parents of the victims had previously expressed their concerns regarding the lack of a protective barrier surrounding the residential pool but the complaints went unanswered.
One of the boys, John, drowned in the incident. The other twin brother, Alex, survived but not without permanent injury. Having gone through an event known as a near-drowning, Alex was underwater for a substantial period of time. During this time, Alex's brain lacked the critical oxygen supply required to maintain his vital nervous tissue alive.
Alex's injuries are only described as an anoxic brain injury which entails significant impairment of cognitive, physical, and psychological functions, among others. He likely suffered irreversible damage that, even with years of rehabilitative therapy, likely cannot be undone. It is also likely that he will require ongoing medical treatment for the rest of his life.