St. Charles country club sued over boy's drowning

Updated 1/5/2015 5:35 PM

The family of a 4-year-old boy who drowned last summer at a St. Charles country club is suing the club, saying it didn't have enough lifeguards on duty, lacked required first-aid equipment and didn't train or supervise lifeguards properly.

The suit was filed Dec. 31 in Kane County circuit court by Paulino Delle Grazie's father, Paul, who is administrator of his son's estate.


Paulino died June 14. He had been swimming in the outdoor pool at the Royal Fox Country Club.

According to the suit, the Bartlett boy was using a slide in the deeper end of the pool around 3 p.m. Another child found him at the bottom of the pool. An adult guest dove in and pulled him out, and another guest, a physician, began performing CPR. Paulino was taken to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, where he was pronounced dead. The Kane County coroner cited drowning as the cause of death.

The suit contends that only one lifeguard was watching the pool, although there were two elevated lifeguard stands. The lifeguard was positioned at the shallow end of the pool.

The suit also contends the club violated three state laws: Not having an automated external defibrillator available for resuscitation, not having a lifeguard within 50 feet of the drop slide area, and not maintaining the swimming facility adequately. The suit charges the club failed to audit the performance of its lifeguards, did not have an emergency action plan, didn't properly train lifeguards, and didn't properly supervise lifeguards. The state health department's investigation of the death indicated there were three lifeguards on duty at the time, and that they were not allowed to fully use their training.

The report stated two ran to the slide area after a witness yelled that there was a boy at the bottom of the pool, and that a witness said the boy hit his head as he was brought out of the water.

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The report also said that once out, the boy began expelling water and one of the lifeguards tried to place him on his side. But then, according to the report, the boy's mother, Gianna Delle Grazie, rolled Paulino on to his back and began performing CPR.

Club representatives could not be reached for comment Monday. The club is one of four owned by Forekids Inc., according to the lawsuit.

The suit asks for a judgment, but does not specify an amount.

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