A jury has awarded $400,000 in damages to a man whose five- year-old disabled daughter drowned at a children’s center while taking part in an after-school program. Anyah Raven Glossinger was found submerged in a mineral pool, where she was taking part in hydrotherapy, at the Angel View Crippled Children’s Center in Desert Hot Springs on Jan. 23, 2008. The youngster, who had autism and was legally blind, died the next day.
Her father, Michael Glossinger, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in July 2008 against Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation, the Palm Springs Unified School District, three people who had worked with his daughter and United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire, which operated the program. The jury awarded the father $40,000 in damages for past loss of companionship and $360,000 for future loss of companionship.
Anyah, who was diagnosed with low-functioning autism, was in a special education kindergarten class at a Palm Springs Elementary School at the time of her death. She lived with her mother in Cathedral City. Her father’s lawsuit claimed that three people affiliated with United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire’s Little Bridge program knew Anyah was autistic and blind, yet did not give her a life-vest before she went into the pool. The child was unsupervised and without a lifesaving vest and drowned. The Little Bridge program was shut down by the state Department of Social Services in March 2008. Perhaps the reason for the low verdict in a case of this sort was due to the fact that the Plaintiff was an “absentee father.” I understand the mother had custody of the child. Nevertheless, the conduct by the Defendants was bad and a verdict justified based on media reports.
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