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COLUMBIA —The Stanley Law Group has sued the state Department of Natural Resources, various Richland County entities and employees, and the boat’s driver for negligence on behalf of the family of an Elgin teen killed in a boating accident on the Congaree River.
The Stanley Law Group filed the wrongful death suit days before the second anniversary of the May 16, 2020, accident that would end the 19-year-old’s life.
Court documents allege the boat’s driver had consumed alcohol, driven recklessly and failed to call 911 or DNR, the state agency in charge of investigating accidents on the water.
Responding Richland County sheriff’s deputies did not secure the scene or ask a number of crucial questions and did not contact DNR. And the ambulance did not come with enough personnel, causing delays in care for the blunt force trauma Phillips suffered to his head.
By these actions and inaction, The Stanley Law Group claims laws were broken and standards of care were not met. All of which contributed to Phillips’ death four days after the accident.
Lawyers for the family said in court documents filed May 13 in Richland Count civil court their clients were subjected to “prolonged hospitalization; physical and mental pain and suffering; mental anguish and emotional distress; discomfort and decline as a result of Jaden Phillips’ injuries; loss of enjoyment of life; insults to his human dignity; death; and other economic and non-economic damages.”
The family is seeking to recover the cost of medical expenses and other compensation. “Eckrote consumed alcohol prior to the accident, drove recklessly and failed to call 911 after the accident. Eckrote’s actions combined with a number of poor decisions made by the state and county entities collectively contributed to the death of Jaden Phillips and we will not stop fighting on behalf of his family until justice is served,” states attorney Breon Walker of The Stanley Law Group.