The family of a boy injured by nearly drowning at Cowabunga Bay reached a $49 million settlement with the water park located in Henderson, NV.
A then six-year-old named Leland Gardner was submerged for some time in May of 2015 and had already incurred over $900,000 in medical bills before the agreement had been reached. The lawsuit filed alleged Cowabunga did not have enough lifeguards on duty to help Leland when he was underwater.
Personal injury attorney Donald Campbell represented the boy and his family and stated in the suit that there were six (6) lifeguards on duty at Cowabunga Bay’s Surf-A-Rama Wave Pool but that the Southern Nevada Health District said the park needed at least 17. The health district issued a report stating the water park submitted a proposal that met with expectations but failed to actually maintain the adequate lifeguard coverage at the wave pool on multiple occasions.
The boy had gone on a playdate with a friend and the friend’s father and was not wearing a life jacket when he went into the wave pool. The boy fell off his inner tube and was submerged underwater. The boy was hospitalized for weeks because of neurological damage because he from hypoxic and anoxic brain injury which disrupted the flow of oxygen to the brain. He requires 24-hour care for grooming, dressing, bathing, sitting and all other functions. He is fed through a tube in his abdomen according to the settlement.
A medical expert reported he could live for decades and his medical costs would be between $40 million and $59 million.