Family of Manchester High Drowning Victim Intend to Sue Town, School System

The family of Malvrick Donkor have filed a letter stating they intend to sue the town and the Manchester Public Schools System.

An attorney representing the family of the 14-year old Manchester High School student who drowned in the school's pool on Nov. 21, 2012 has filed a letter with the town of Manchester indicating that the family intends to sue for "wrongful death and damages." 

The letter, dated Jan. 9, 2013, was sent by Carlton L. Hume, a Hartford-based attorney, and contains a notice of intent to commence legal action against the town of Manchester, Interim Superintendent Richard Kisiel, the Manchester Board of Education, Manchester High Principal Matthew Geary, Manchester High Athletic Director Lindsey Boutillier, Thayer Redman, the Manchester High teacher present during the incident, and "such other person and or persons to be determined through investigation." 

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The suit is on behalf of Daniel Ofori-Mintah and Christine Amowaah, father and mother of 14-year old Malvrick Donkor, and "intends to bring an action for wrongful death and damages suffered in connection with an incident during school hours on or about November 21, 2012…which resulted in the death of Malvrick Esumah Donkor, a student of Manchester High School." 

Donkor, who had recently immigrated from Ghana and played on the Manchester High junior varsity soccer team, was reportedly found unconscious at the bottom of the Manchester High pool on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 21, during a physical education class in which he was a student. Attempts to revive Donkor on the scene were unsuccessful, and he was transported to Manchester Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. 

The Hartford Courant later reported that a security camera at the pool shows Donkor underwater for about 17 minutes before he was noticed and pulled out.

Redman, who also coaches the outdoor boys track team at the high school, was placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation. Manchester Police are also investigating Donkor's death. 

Hume also represented the family of Marcum Asiamah, a 15-year old East Hartford High School student who drowned in that school's pool in January of 2012, according to the Hartford Courant. The East Hartford Town Council voted recently to approve a $1.5 million settlement with Asiamah's family, according to the Courant, with the town's insurer paying $1 million and East Hartford covering the remaining $500,000 as a deductible.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Manchester High School Principal Matthew Geary as Richard Geary. 

Jerry O'Connor January 25, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Two area teenagers drown during gym class, and the law firm handling their cases will get about the same amount of money as either of the two victims’ families. The town of Manchester should offer the Donkor family $1.25 million if they fire their attorney and do not bring suit. The Donkor family would wind up with a quarter million more and either Manchester taxpayers or their insurance company would save an equal amount.
Joel Mrosek January 25, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Where are the "damages" in the death of an infant or child? They don't provide income to the family? Support or other valuable services to the family that needs to be replaced and cost money? I am sympathetic to the tragedy suffered by this family, but it is a perversion of the system to offer a payday for "pain and suffering". If I could get paid for the pain and suffering in my life, I would be richer than Al Gore! Law suits should only be allowed when there is an actual financial loss and nothing else. If a crime was committed, it should be prosecuted. We all pay for these unfortunate claims. The Town's insurance company will settle regardless of the wishes of the town because they are only interested in its well being. The Town will pay the deductible and increased premiums. Even if the Town wanted to contest the suit it would only do so naked. So, lititgous people seeking compensation for every life tragedy, attorneys accepting cases they shouldn't, courts allowing lawsuits to proceed and insurance companys settling, for fear of a big jury awards creates a gerbil wheel that all innocent taxpayers must fund, without the thrill of the ride. This type of circular relationship is disheartening and is evidence of societal decline.
Cara Bride January 26, 2013 at 02:15 AM
If a child is required to take a class in the school pool for gym, he should not end up dying unnoticed.
Brian Hurlburt January 26, 2013 at 01:47 PM
No amount of money will bring back this young from this horrible accident. The attorney in this case, as I understand it, reached out to the family within days of the drowning, clearly as case of wanting to be the first in the scene to offer "help". I don't know hat I would do if it were my daughter, who is also a student at the High School, but I'd do know hat I would not want a profiteering, unethical, attorney there to "guide" me through this. This poor family will have to endure the reminder of this tradegy every day, and will not be able to heal until a decision is rendered; and the actions of this greedy attorney will never replace their loss. Having a windfall award for the loss of a minor child makes no sense other than to make this attorney better off than he was prior to this tradegy. I'm sorry to the family.
tina bourke January 28, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I think of Malvrick and his family often. My heart goes out to all; the family, teacher, police, school, and community.


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