A man sacrificed his own life last August to save a child drowning near a dam on the Fox River near Geneva, Illinois. The man’s relatives have now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, claiming that access to the dam should have been restricted.
Randy Suchy, a 59-year-old Naperville resident, drowned after saving a 12-year-old boy, who fell in the water during a church event. While the boy was rescued, Suchy lost his life.
Suchy’s family claims that the incident never should have happened, alleging the city should be held liable for its failure to monitor the area. While there are warning signs, the area had not been roped off.
The suit seeks unspecified damages. A jury trial has been demanded.
The wrongful death lawsuit claims, in part, that “The city of Geneva knew that children or adults who came into the water at the downstream side of the Geneva dam could be killed. At all times relevant, and for many years prior to Aug. 5, 2011, the city of Geneva knew it was unsafe and potentially lethal for children and adults to be on land in close proximity to the water, and the downstream side of the Geneva dam.”
After a 2007 study by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, officials considered removing, or improving, the safety of the low-head dam, but a decision was never made.
The two sides will face off in court on August 9.