Stephen G. Schwarz, Managing Partner of Faraci Lange, is representing the family of Valentine Benjamin Hollingsworth who died in a wakeboarding accident at Roseland Wake Park in September of 2016.
The family of the 22 year old RIT student has moved to sue the Canandaigua park due to their concern that park officials did not respond to the accident in time and no lifeguards were present.
By the time Hollingsworth was pulled out of the water after hitting a ramp while wakeboarding at the park, water had filled his lungs causing the oxygen to his brain to slow. This lead to a traumatic brain injury which ultimately caused his death.
“He also had severe hypoxia because his lungs filled with water and he was not resuscitated immediately,” said Schwarz, adding that Holingsworth suffered uncontrollable brain swelling as well.
The lawsuit filed on Friday in federal court alleges that, “crucial minutes passed” before a park official retrieved Hollingsworth from the water after he hit his head on a ramp and was knocked unconscious.
“There was nobody really visually watching anybody at the park,” stated Cerneskie, an eye witness who observed the park’s slow response from the shore of the wakeboarding lagoon.
The New York State Department of Labor filed two citations against Roseland Park. One of which was for the park failing to report the accident to regulators within 24 hours, and the second for failing to halt operation of the equipment after the accident.
In addition to the negligence claim, the Hollingsworth family is also filing a products liability claim against the manufacturers of the equipment used at the park.
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