Family, St. Louis Park schools reach $3M settlement in boy's drowning


The family of the St. Louis Park student who drowned during a school swimming class last year has agreed to a $3 million settlement with the district, reports say.

"No amount of money can ever bring back Abdullah, but by filing this lawsuit, we sought to change the school district's approach to pool safety, so that no other family would ever have to lose a child the way our family did," Ali Warsame, the boy's father, said in a statement from his family's attorney.

Abdullahi Charif, who was a 12-year-old in seventh grade, was found in the deep end of the school's pool Feb. 27, 2014, and died a few days later.

The boy's family filed a lawsuit seeking punitive damages. The suit alleged "there was a conscious disregard for safety rules which would have saved Abdullahi's life," MPR News notes.

The lawsuit claimed the teacher, who knew Abdullahi couldn't swim, allowed rough play between students in the deep end of the pool. It also said the teacher was distracted by an iPad and didn't notice Abdullahi was at the bottom of the pool for more than 15 minutes.

In a statement to FOX 9, St. Louis Public Schools said the teacher involved in the incident remains on paid administrative leave pending the result of an internal investigation, and the school is discussing the swimming curriculum at the middle school.

The settlement is within the parameters of the district's insurance policy, so there will be no impact on the district's general fund, the statement added.

No criminal charges were filed in the boy's death.

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