Family of Man Who Drowned in Staten Island Pool Sues City
STATEN ISLAND — The family of a 21-year-old man who drowned last year in a public Staten Island pool while performing Navy SEAL training exercises with his friend has sued the city, claiming that lifeguards should have stopped him from engaging in the grueling drills.
Bohdan Vitenko drowned on July 13, 2011, while doing exercises similar to those used in military training with his friend Jonathan Proce, 21, at Lyons Pool in Tompkinsville. Proce died five days later, the New York Daily News reported.
The suit, which targets the city and Parks Department for negligence, argues that the lifeguards should have stopped Vitenko from doing the exercises in the pool.
According to the Manhattan Supreme Court filing, the guards "knowingly permitted Vitenko and others to engage in an inherently dangerous activity that was unknown to Vitenko."
The pair were exercising in a far corner of the pool, which was staffed by lifeguards, the day they drowned, the Daily News reported.
Lawyers for Vitenko said they could not comment on the case. The city's Law Department did not respond to requests for comment.
The suit also claims that the city did not have enough lifeguards on duty that day, and that the city "failed to use reasonable care in the employment, training and supervision of its employees to find out whether they were competent to do their work without danger of harm to others by failing to reasonably supervise, prevent and instruct members at the facility," the filing said.