Updated: Yacht clubs hit with wrongful death suit after cruise passenger drowns in the Chicago River

By Annie Cosby | Jul 22, 2014


Editor's note: This story was updated on Jan. 29 to reflect the Jan. 20 filing of the plaintiff's second amended complaint.

A woman is suing over claims her husband drowned after taking a cruise on the Chicago River and falling off a boat dock into the water.

Brittany Fowler, as special administrator of the Estate of Brian Garland for the use and benefit of his minor daughter, filed a wrongful death lawsuit July 13 in the Cook County Circuit Court.

She filed a second amended complaint Jan. 20 against Vantage Yacht Club, David Bagger, individually and as an agent of Vantage Yacht Club, and MW-CPAG Marina Holdings LLC and MW-Marina LLC, both doing business as Kingsbury Yacht Club.

According to the second amended complaint, Garland went to Vantage Yacht Club on Aug. 24, 2012 for a boat cruise. Bagger, the suit says, was a dock attendant and operated and docked the boat, which traveled on the North Branch of the Chicago River near 950 N. Kingsbury St.

Fowler claims Garland fell into the water and died from drowning as a result of the defendants' failure to properly inspect and maintain the boat dock to ensure it was in a safe condition, provide adequate railing and safeguards along the boat dock, warn individuals the boat dock was dangerous and provide rope or ladder to help persons who fall into the water extricate themselves.

She is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and is being represented in the case by attorney Timothy D. Quinn of Parente & Norem P.C. in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2014L007448.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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