PHILADELPHIA (CN) – City workers take payoffs from children to let them use city pools after business hours, says a mother whose son was hospitalized in intensive care after nearly drowning. She claims her son was one of about 30 kids who paid $2 apiece to a Department of Recreation worker who let them swim after hours without a lifeguard.
“It is a common practice throughout the City of Philadelphia for employees of the Philadelphia Department of Recreation to take money from juveniles in exchange for granting these children access to the recreation centers … for purposes of using swimming pools after business hours and without any adult supervision,” Khalik Miller and his mother, Gwendolyn Knox, claim in state court.
When Khalik and about 30 other kids wanted to swim after hours in July 2008, “John Doe employee agreed to admit the children onto the property in order to use the swimming pool under the condition that each child pay him $2,” the complaint states.
“The aforementioned group of children, including plaintiff Khalik Miller, paid John Doe employee $2 for admission to the pool and were permitted to jump into the pool several times without any lifeguard or other adult supervision,” his mom says. “John Doe employee did not supervise the children in any was while the group was using the pool after hours at the Awbury Recreation Center.”
After the employee told the kids their time was up, and they left the pool and the rec center, “while John Doe employee was locking the gate, the employee stated that the group of children had left someone behind in the pool. Plaintiff Khalik Miller was then observed to be laying [sic] at the bottom of the pool, not moving in any way,” the complaint states.
“Two juvenile females re-entered the pool area and dove into the pool in order to pull the plaintiff out of the water and to begin CPR. John Doe employee rendered no assistance and failed to call for medical help. Some unknown person called 911 and when the ambulance arrived at the scene Khalik Miller was unresponsive,” according to the complaint.
He was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he was revived through intubation, and placed in intensive care. His “lungs were found to be completely filled with water and his lung have suffered significant damage as a result of this incident,” his mom says.
Named as defendants are the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Department of Recreation and the John Doe employee.
The mother and son seek more than $50,000 in damages for negligence, negligent hiring and emotional distress. They are represented by I. Michael Luber.