Family awarded $10 million in Ridgewood, NJ drowning case


After a month long emotional trial, a jury awarded $10 million to the family of Soo Hyeon Park. On July 15, 2008, the 13 year old swimmer, drown in the deep water section of the Graydon Pool, a man-made lake operated by the town of Ridgewood, NJ.  Although nine lifeguards were on duty, none of them noticed the surface struggle and subsequent submersion of the victim, even as his friend attempted to rescue him.  Aquatic Safety Expert Witness, Dr. Tom Griffiths, with DJS Associates, stated that the lifeguards were poorly positioned to detect and recognize the victim.  Not only were all nine lifeguards stationed on the perimeter of the lake, too far away from the deep end, but the lifeguard responsible for the area where young Soo Hyeon drown was also responsible for two diving boards which violates the standard of care.  Too make matters worse, when 11 year old Steven Kim told lifeguards and management that he just saw his friend drown, the staff began a missing child drill, combing the beach and bath-house rather than the waterfront.  Tragically, Soo Hyeon Park was recovered by search and rescue divers hours later in the very spot Steven Kim pointed to when asked when he last saw his friend.  The family of Soo Hyeon Park was represented by Neil Weiner, Esquire. For further information, please email

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