Swim Club Settles Suit Over Near-Drowning

The parents of a teenager who was left brain-damaged after nearly drowning in a Parkville swim club have settled their $40 million lawsuit against the club and its pool management company.

William and Mary Becker reached a confidential settlement with Woodcroft Swim Club and D.R.D. Pool Management Inc. on Jan. 31, a month before the trial was scheduled to start in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

H. Briggs Bedigian of Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt in Pikesville, the Beckers’ lawyer, confirmed the settlement but declined to comment further.

According to the lawsuit, the Beckers’ 15-year-old son was swimming in the deep end of the pool in July 2006 when he began to drown. James Becker was pulled from the water by lifeguards, who administered CPR. When the lawsuit was filed in July 2009, a lawyer for the pool said James was pulled from the water less than a minute after he was seen struggling.

Paramedics quickly arrived and took Becker to Franklin Square Hospital after using an automated external defibrillator, which the lawsuit alleges the swim club should have had on its premises.

James Becker now uses a wheelchair and is unable to speak, according to the complaint, filed in July 2009. He also requires feeding and breathing tubes, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit sought $39 million for negligence and $1 million for negligent infliction of emotional distress for Mary Becker for witnessing the incident.

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