UPDATE: Family Close to Filing Lawsuit for Drowning Deaths of Brothers at Bayonne Pool
Last year, Shareholders Barry Eichen and Daryl Zaslow, of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, filed tort claim notices on behalf of The Estates of Chu Ming Zheng & Jack Jiang, a/k/a ZhengYu Jiang, two brothers who drowned in a school pool in Bayonne on June 8, 2022. Today, we report that a lawsuit is imminent.
Our investigation into the tragic events of last June found that all three entities not only failed to identify the dangers present at the pool that day, but also failed to mitigate those dangers, leading to the drowning of the brothers. Daryl Zaslow told The Jersey Journal that “The city has the responsibility to prevent this incident, to recognize what was happening at the onset … and to safely and responsibly respond to it, and at every one of those they failed. [The family’s] lives are destroyed. The mom can’t converse without breaking down.”
What our investigations have shown
Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow worked with outside experts to show how those in charge of managing the pool failed to prevent this incident. As Barry Eichen told the Hudson Reporter last year, “We’ve talked to various aquatic safety and rescue experts who can’t think of any scenario where this community pool is not responsible for negligence and not saving these young men.”
For example, the pool’s shallow end is four feet, but there is a sudden drop-off from shallow to deep. The pool reaches a depth of 13 feet in total. The only indication of this drop-off is numbers listed on the tiles around the outside of the pool – numbers which can be obscured by people sitting or standing on them, and which are not clearly visible to swimmers within the pool itself. Novice swimmers, such as the brothers were, could easily “fall” into the deeper end without warning if they are pushed toward the drop-off. And without clear markings within the pool, they would not know they were close to the edge, anyway.
The tort claim notices total $100 million, and were filed against “the state, county and city as well as the Board of Education, Bayonne schools superintendent and Lincoln Community School principal.” The notices ensured that our clients would retain the right to file a lawsuit.
We seek not only damages for our grieving clients, but also change in how risk assessment is conducted in New Jersey and around the country. There were three lifeguards on duty that night, and yet none of them were able to save the brothers. We want nationally established and recognized protocols to ensure that no other family ever has to suffer the loss that our clients have. We are proud to support the family in their fight for justice and accountability.
Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP to Represent Families of Bayonne Teen Drowning Victims
Barry Eichen and Daryl Zaslow, shareholders with Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, and Victoria Zheng Wong of the QLW Law Group have been retained on behalf of The Estates of Chu Ming Zheng & Jack Jiang, a/k/a ZhengYu Jiang, in connection with their tragic and preventable drownings that occurred on June 8, 2022 at the Lincoln Community School Pool, in Bayonne, New Jersey.
This unimaginable tragedy occurred during the community swim hours at the pool. There is an ongoing investigation about what happened. Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow is awaiting the final medical reports and any potential surveillance video of the pool, but this is what we do know.
We know that per ABC 7 News, “Bayonne police said that according to witnesses and the three lifeguards on duty, the two victims were observed to be in distress in the deep end of the pool. As a lifeguard approached the deep end, he observed the two victims unable to resurface and entered the pool with the other two lifeguards.”
We know that despite there being multiple lifeguards on duty, our clients’ children did not survive, and spent their final moments in terror and suffering.
We know that their 11-year-old sister witnessed the entire thing, and that she will live with the trauma of the incident and the loss for the rest of her life.
We know that the parents will live with the trauma of losing both of their sons at once in an incident that never should have happened. As Daryl Zaslow told NJ 101.5, “This is not a situation in which kids snuck into a closed pool in the middle of the night and somebody drowned. There were supposed to be three lifeguards on duty. It is impossible to come up with a situation in which two children die in a situation like this one when lifeguards are on duty.”
The firm has filed Tort Claims Notices naming multiple parties, including The City of Bayonne and it’s Recreational Department, the Board of Ed, Lincoln Community School Pool and others “who were responsible for supervising, patrolling, life guarding, and/or protecting all children using the pool on the premises at issues and/or who were involved in and/or responsible for claimants’ care, supervision, protection and wellbeing” for their failure to ensure the victims’ safety, which ultimately led to the death of the two teenagers.
We invite anyone with knowledge about what happened at the Lincoln Community School Pool on June 8, 2022 to please contact us.
For more information about our services, media inquiries, or to schedule a free consultation with one of our New Jersey personal injury lawyers, please call 732.301.4750 or fill out our contact form. Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow has offices in Edison, Toms River and Red Bank, and serves clients throughout the state.
Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP has purposely remained small in size, because it is important to us that we get to know our clients and their needs. Larger NJ injury firms may churn out case after case, but that’s not how we operate. Partners Barry Eichen, William Crutchlow, and Daryl Zaslow have created a firm with the resources to handle complex litigation, and a team that takes your case personally.
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