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Supreme Court: Lawsuit over child’s death can continue

January 4, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Supreme Court says a lawsuit accusing the city of New Berlin of negligence in a young girl’s death can continue.

Eight-year-old Lilly Engelhardt drowned in July 2012 during a New Berlin Parks and Recreation Department camp outing at a Brookfield pool.

The girl’s parents sued the city. An appellate court ruled the city enjoys governmental immunity from such lawsuits.

The Supreme Court reversed that decision Friday, ruling unanimously that immunity doesn’t apply because city employees were aware of a hazardous situation that was so serious they should have corrected it but didn’t. The justices noted the camp coordinator knew the girl couldn’t swim but did nothing with the information.

Dustin Woehl, the city’s attorneys, said he hadn’t seen the decision.

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