Monday, May 13, 2013

$9.5 Million Dollar Verdict in Death of a Hero

$9.5 Million Dollar Verdict in Death of a Hero Garrett Townsend Jr. died a hero while trying to save the life of a little boy on May 24, 2009, in the City of Detroit, in the 3900 block of Miracles Avenue. Verdicts in the amount of $9,500,000 were rendered for the Estate of Garrett Townsend Jr. and for Decedent’s daughter in a bystander claim in the Wayne County Circuit Court on May 9, 2013. The Estate consisted of Mr. Townsend’s loving family: daughter, 16 years of age; his son, 20 years of age; and seven brothers and sisters who survived him. The verdicts against the developer, Scripps Park, and the construction manager, Fielek Builders, found these parties to be negligent and liable for the death of Mr. Townsend when they left an unfinished basement excavation open and inadequately secured with a plastic orange fence from October 2008 until the time of Mr. Townsend’s death on May 24, 2009. The site was known to have filled with water prior to the time the little boy fell into the hole. The Defendants had been warned of the inadequacy of the safety and security of the site. They had been warned by local residents that children were playing at the site just days before. Both the developers, Scripps Park, and the construction manager Fielek Builders, claimed that they had no responsibility or obligation to secure the site with anything but a warning fence. They further denied they had any responsibility to maintain an erect barrier around this construction site. In their argument, an orange plastic fence was a warning whether erect or laying on the ground. Plaintiffs claimed by way of an attractive nuisance, the responsibilities of the parties hereto. And it was reasonably foreseeable with small children playing at the construction site that a child would be found in peril inviting rescue. As it happened, two small boys, ages four and seven years old were playing when the seven-year old fell into the hole and brown murky water. In an attempt to rescue this little boy from drowning, Mr. Townsend cautiously entered the excavation site but was unable to extricate himself while his daughter observed. Mr. Townsend gave his life so another could live. On May 24, 2009, a great man, a father, a brother and mentor died in the City of Detroit. The claims were represented by David W. Christensen, Mary Pat Rosen and Robin Kyle. For more information, please contact or 313-875-8080.