Seaside’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the family of an Oklahoma teenager who drowned in Seaside in 2016 was denied in May by Circuit Court Judge Dawn McIntosh.
A lawsuit has been filed over a drowning in Seaside in 2016.
The case, now in the discovery phase, could be headed to a jury trial in Clatsop County.
L. Nicole Moore, mother of Conner Miguel Wu Moore, 14, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, filed a $3.6 million lawsuit against the city, claiming her son and his cousin were not warned about dangerous ocean conditions.
Warning sign at the entrance to the beach at 12th Avenue and the Prom in Seaside.
In July 2016, the teenagers were visiting the North Coast for a family reunion.
Conner Moore and his cousin were in the ocean at the foot of Broadway when lifeguards saw the teenagers struggling. After a rescue attempt, Connor Moore was pronounced dead at Providence Seaside Hospital. His cousin survived.
The lawsuit, filed in July 2018, alleges the teens were swimming in waters next to an area that is “particularly dangerous and this extremely hazardous condition was not obvious to an ordinary person.”
The suit said the teen was recovered in an area known to have a “precipitous drop-off.”
According to Moore, who is representing herself, Seaside did not post appropriate warning signs and lifeguards did not alert the family to the potential danger.
The lawsuit seeks $3 million in damages for the teen’s death. The family is also asking for a $691,200 penalty against the city for releasing the teen’s name, age and medical information to the news media. The suit claims the disclosure was a violation of federal and state medical privacy laws.
The city asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that Conner Moore should have exercised care in avoiding harm from an “activity that creates a hazardous condition.”
The city argues it is also protected by recreational immunity, which applies if the principal purpose for entry upon the land is for recreation.
Because the incident happened in the ocean or shore, the city is not the proper party to bring a claim of negligence, Richard Freud, an attorney with Citycounty Insurance Services, wrote in his motion for dismissal.
As the city’s statements after the incident were done in an official capacity, the city is entitled to “absolute privilege from this (defamation) claim and cannot be held liable for the comments at issue,” he wrote.
McIntosh rejected the city’s motion to dismiss in May.
Moore “has pled sufficient facts” for her claims to proceed, McIntosh found. In a June response, the city again denied the allegations and asked the court to dismiss all claims. Moore did not reply to requests for comment.