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$70M Lawsuit Filed In Death of Swimmer Found in Pool

Wesley Tingey Pool Water Unsplash 1280

The mother of an Oregon swimmer who was found dead in a pool is suing for $70 million, according to an NBC News report.

Nabila Maazouz, 14, became trapped under the pool cover after swim team practice at the Shute Park Aquatic and Recreation Center in Hillsboro on Nov. 20, 2019. Maazouz — a freshman at Oregon Episcopal School — finished practice with the team and coaches instructed the team to cover the outdoor pool with the heavy pool covers, according to the lawsuit filed by Patricia Maazouz in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Team members rolled the covers off a rack onto the water where several swimmers, including Nabila, grabbed a cover and swam with it toward the opposite end of the pool. Nabila and her teammates swam with the second cover toward the opposite end of the pool. They swam underneath the cover to grab the third one, but Nabila never resurfaced.

According to the lawsuit, once the pool was completely covered, the swimmers and coaches left the outdoor pool and the lights were turned off. They didn’t notice Nabila Maazouz was not with them.

Patricia Maazouz was waiting in a parking lot for her daughter. About 9:20 p.m., less than an hour after the team was allegedly told to cover the pool, Patricia Maazouz went inside and asked the swim coaches where her daughter was.

Nabila, a freshman at Oregon Episcopal School, was found dead underneath the pool covers in the deep end of the pool at the Shute Park Aquatic and Recreation Center, the lawsuit said.

Patricia Maazouz is suing the city of Hillsboro, the school district and the Parks and Recreation Department for wrongful death and negligence. She said the pool covers were "unreasonably dangerous" because they didn’t allow the team to cover the pool without getting in the water and the covers created a "dark and disorientating underwater environment" for the swimmers.

Patricia Maazouz blamed the district for not realizing her daughter did not resurface and for failing to keep a roster of the swimmers who entered and exited the pool.

The school district declined to comment on the pending litigation.

"Our hearts and thoughts continue to go out to her family and all who knew her," spokesperson Beth Graser said Tuesday in a statement.

The city said it has referred the lawsuit to its attorneys.

"Our hearts remain with the Maazouz family and everyone in our community who has been devastated by the tragic death of Nabila," spokesperson Patrick Preston said in a statement, NBC reported. 

Following Nabila's death, the parks department changed some of its rules so that only staff members are allowed to cover and uncover the pool, and a lifeguard is on duty for practices, according to an Associated Press report.

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