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Second lawsuit filed against Pheasant Run in ‘07 drowning

Pheasant Run Resort St. Charles. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media

Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 18, 2013 6:40AM

ST. CHARLES — Five years after Javier Gonzalez drowned in a pool at Pheasant Run Resort, a friend who watched it happen has filed a lawsuit suggesting a lack of safety equipment led to Gonzalez’s death.

The suit — the second one related to the incident — was filed this month in a Kane County court by Carmen Gant on behalf of her son, who went swimming with Gonzalez and his siblings at the St. Charles resort on Dec. 28, 2007. Gonzalez, 21 at the time, was “an athlete and strong swimmer” who suddenly became distressed and sank to pool’s bottom while playing games with the group, according to the lawsuit.

The siblings and Gant’s son, then 12, screamed for help, but no one came to their aid. No lifeguard was on duty and no life-saving equipment, including a telephone, was readily available to help them try to rescue Gonzalez, the suit states.

Daniel Murphy, the attorney for Gant, did not return a call seeking comment. Murphy represents Gonzalez’s mother in a 2009 lawsuit which leveled similar allegations against the resort and its owners. Pheasant Run and its parent company have not yet been served with the latest lawsuit, according to court records.

The resort previously denied any wrongdoing in the 2009 lawsuit and has asked a judge to dismiss the case on at least two occasions. That case is scheduled for a March 28 hearing.

In the new case, Gant’s son is described as suffering extreme and severe emotional distress as a result of being “forced to watch (Gonzalez) drown” because no one responded to calls for help and a lack of “appropriate” rescue equipment, according to the lawsuit.

The suit also alleges Pheasant Run has been cited by DuPage County officials in past years for failing to have safety equipment and a safety rope dividing the shallow and deep ends of the outdoor pool, which is where Gonzalez drowned.

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