According to the CT Post, a Providence jury has sided with the state of Rhode Island in a $40 million personal injury and premises negligence lawsuit brought on by an injured man. The jury said that the state does not have to pay damages to Brett A. Roy and his family, despite the fact that Roy was paralyzed due to an accident.
Roy was paralyzed in 2008 after he dived into a pond located at the World War II Memorial State Park in Woonsocket. The jury took seven days to deliberate and agreed that the state and the Department of Environmental Management were not liable for the man’s injuries.
Roy’s personal injury attorney said the plaintiff will most likely appeal. Roy broke his neck on July 10, 2008, in the man-made pond at the memorial park. In his lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed the state and DEM officials failed to guard or warn the public of possible dangers, or provide lifeguards. The plaintiff said the injury occurred because it was impossible for him to know that there was a sandbar where he hit. During testimony, the jury heard that Roy dropped off his family at the memorial park but did not intend to go swimming, and that several people were in the pool area at the time. Roy decided to take a dive in the pond, in an area that looked dark and appeared to be at least five to six feet deep. Witnessed said Roy took a jog and dove in such a way as to not go deep, but found himself struggling until a DEM employee and another woman helped remove him from the water.