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Kelowna  

Kelowna sued after teen paralyzed jumping into Okanagan Lake

City sued over accident

The family of a teen paralyzed in a diving accident on Okanagan Lake last summer are suing the City of Kelowna for negligence.

The lawsuit was filed in B.C. Supreme Court Friday by Jeremy Kamoschinski on behalf of his teenage son Gavin.

Gavin Kamoschinski suffered a “catastrophic spinal cord injury” when he struck the lake bottom after diving off the end of a city-owned dock at Hobson Beach Park on Aug. 2, 2023.

He was 16 at the time and is unable to bring the suit forward on his own behalf.

According to court documents, Jeremy Kamoschinski contends the end of the dock extending more than 100 feet into the lake gave the appearance of being an ideal place from which to dive or jump when in fact it was “extremely dangerous.”

“Despite being aware the dock was used for jumping and diving, the defendant City of Kelowna kept the dock in place without adequate safety precautions and signage to warn users of the dangers posed by jumping and diving from it,” the suit states.

Kamoschinski says the city knew, or ought to have known the dock would be an appealing place to jump and dive from and posed a “danger of serious injury” to jumpers and divers due to the varying depth of the surrounding water.

While a single sign prohibited diving and jumping from the dock and warning of the dangers, the suit says it was placed in a spot where it would not be viewed by all park users.

“At no time did the plaintiff see the one warning sign posted by the defendant,” the suit continues.

“Had the plaintiff seen a sign prohibiting diving from the dock due to the risk of death of serious injury he would not have dived from the dock.”

The lawsuit contends Kamoschinski’s injuries are due to the city’s negligence in failing to post warning signs, failing to adequately supervise the beach, failing to comply with minimal industry standards with respect to the placement of warning signs and failing to take reasonable care to prevent injury or damage.

As a result of the accident, Kamoschinski suffered a cervical spinal cord injury, spinal fractures requiring laminectomy and fusion surgery, chronic pain and psychological injury.

“The injuries, loss and damage sustained by the plaintiff have caused and continue to cause the plaintiff pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earnings and permanent disability,” the lawsuit concludes.

Kamoschinski is seeking damages for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, as well as damages for past and future loss of earnings and future care.

Facts of the case have not yet been tested in a court of law.

The city has yet to respond to the suit.



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