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Southfield, Mich. —September 1, 2021—  A. Vince Colella, personal injury and civil rights attorney and co-founder of Southfield-based Moss & Colella, P.C., today announced that a settlement of $1.55 million has been reached on behalf of the family of an 8-year-old girl who drowned in the pool of an apartment complex in Battle Creek, Michigan. It is the second-largest reported drowning case settlement in Michigan history.

On July 6, 2018, Ny’ara Bynum, a healthy, eight-year-old girl with previous swimming experience was attending a pool party at the BC River Oaks Apartments in Battle Creek when she suddenly started having difficulty in the water and required a rescue. In the rescue attempts, it was determined that the pool’s safety rope and buoy were improperly tied to a fence, causing a delay in access, and the rope was insufficient in length, as required by regulatory guidelines, to reach Ny’ara in the pool.  Ultimately, she was removed from the pool by bystanders who dove in for a rescue attempt and, despite CPR and other emergency resuscitation efforts on site, died within an hour of being taken to a local hospital.

Safety Guidelines Ignored
For safety purposes, state law requires that pools at apartment complexes and other venues require regular inspection and annual licensing. Upon investigation, it was determined that the River Oaks pool had been unlicensed and uninspected for several years. Experts called in to assess the case, as well as the police who arrived on scene, confirmed that the shortened rope ultimately prohibited Ny’ara’s safe rescue.

Colella explains the lawsuit outcome
“The family of Ny’ara Bynum continues to endure unimaginable suffering as a result of her senseless death,” Colella said.  “A settlement of this amount affirms the magnitude of their loss.”  Colella added that the settlement should put pool safety and a commitment to annual inspections and licensing at the top of this list for apartment complexes and other pool environments, especially where there is no lifeguard present.

About Moss & Colella
Established in 1997, Moss & Colella represents the victims of personal injury, civil rights violations, discrimination, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.  The firm is recognized as a leader in complex tort litigation, including excess and deadly force, jail death, sexual abuse and harassment, auto and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and other serious injury and wrongful death claims.  To learn more about the firm and its diverse areas of practice, visit