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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The city has approved a more than $800,000 payment to a family member of a teen who died on a Springfield public beach.
Springfield Mayor Misty Buscher and the Springfield City Council unanimously approved of an ordinance of paying $851,565.67 at their meeting Tuesday evening for a wrongful death lawsuit from 2008 to Mary Yarborough.
Yarborough’s son, 16-year-old Eric Jones, drowned at the Lake Springfield Beach in July 2007.
According to court documents, there were only two lifeguards actively supervising the lake when Jones drowned. Many lifeguards who worked at the beach were not on active-duty and instead doing other activities.
The jury ruled in 2015 the city owed Yarborough $525,000. The appellate court then threw out the decision in 2017 due to the ruling being based on an “inadmissible internal policy” and needed a new trial. The second trial’s jury concluded in 2021 the city was still liable and owed Yarborough $750,000.
The extra money of around $100,000 comes from accrued interest and court fees.
The payment is coming from the self-insurance fund and agreed to be reimbursed split monthly the water fund from City Water Light and Power, who owns the beach, over the next 60 months.