YMCA Settles Drowning Suit

GREENLAWN, New York, Mar. 5

BY: Andrew Wroblewski

A settlement has been reached in the wrongful-death lawsuit of former Harborfields High School student, Marc Dawson, above.
A settlement has been reached in the wrongful-death lawsuit of former Harborfields High School student, Marc Dawson, above.

The YMCA of Long Island has reached a settlement in a wrongful-death lawsuit in the drowning death of former Harborfields High School student Marc Dawson.

In 2008, then 17 years old, living in Greenlawn and working as a lifeguard at the Huntington YMCA, Dawson died a week after he was found unconscious at the bottom of the 4-foot-deep lap pool. He was apparently training to become a Navy SEAL. Two lifeguards were present when Dawson was discovered.

The lawsuit, filed by father Ray Dawson with the State Supreme Court, alleged the defendants – YMCA of Long Island and the lifeguard employees – were “reckless, careless and negligent in the life guarding and supervision” of the pool.

After nearly eight years, the two parties have come to a settlement. The dollar amount of the settlement is being kept private.

“All parties have agreed to resolution of the outstanding legal matters in order to move past what was ultimately a tragic accident,” a statement released by Saskia Thomson, marketing and communications director for YMCA of Long Island, reads. “All parties agree this is the most positive way to reflect on the memory and legacy of Marc Dawson, and will keep the exact terms of the mediated settlement private.”

Huntington attorney Michael Perotta, who represented Ray Dawson, did not return calls before press time on Wednesday.

Originally published: Long Islander News: The Long Islander
(Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015;  Front page)

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