Family sues pool owners for $15M after woman dies at party

Family sues pool owners for $15M after woman dies at party

BARTLETT, TN (WMC) - The family of a woman who drowned in a Bartlett pool during a Fourth of July party is suing the home's owners.

Others at the pool party said they were sitting on the deck near the pool when someone noticed a woman at the bottom. The people at the party jumped into the pool, pulled the woman out, performed CPR, and called 911.

Darian Towns, a 23-year-old bride-to-be, was rushed to the hospital where she died. Darian was supposed to be celebrating her second month of marriage by now, but instead of planning a wedding, her family was forced to plan a funeral.

Bartlett police said there was no reason to suspect foul play in her death.

However, the lawsuit alleges that safety measures provided at the pool party were "inadequate" and "unreasonable." It states Towns lost her life as a result of the pool owners' negligence.

The lawsuit claims those negligent acts to be:

  • Failing to utilize proper lighting and safety and rescue equipment in the pool area.
  • Failing to monitor or restrict access to the pool.
  • Failing to provide a lifeguard at the pool party.
  • Failure to detect and stop or intervene in a dangerous party atmosphere.
  • Serving alcohol to impair guests attending the party, including Towns.

The lawsuit was filed on counts of negligence, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of duty for a total of $15 million.

Though Bartlett Police haven't filed criminal charges against the homeowner Lela McCracken or the party host Trey McCracken, her grandson, named in the lawsuit, Darian's family still wants to hold them accountable for their daughter's death.

A statement from the Towns family attorney called Darian's death, ".. a senseless tragedy that could have been easily avoided had the homeowner and host of the party simply taken the issue of safety seriously."

We spoke with Darian's mother Donnell Towns in July the day after she learned the news of her daughter's death.

"She could swim," Towns said. "She had been swimming every day to lose weight to fit into her wedding dress.

The Towns and their attorney believe according to court documents if there was better lighting, a lifeguard, and someone used safety and rescue equipment that night, Darian would be alive today.

We stopped by the Bartlett home for comment, but no one answered the door.

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