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Public Pool Drowning Leads to Wrongful Death Suit

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By Jason Beahm on July 14, 2010 1:26 PM

The family of Carlos Salgado, 26, a Calumet Township official, has filed a wrongful death suit against Park District President Fred Bilotto and the Village of Blue Island. Salgado died in a public pool drowning at a pool party on June 26. Criminal charges are not being filed.

The Southtown Star obtained a police report indicating that investigators found that there was drinking and nudity at the party but no indications of foul play. "At this time, it looks like there was no foul play," Blue Island Police Chief Douglas Hoglund said last month. "It was a tragic accident." In fact, the police report describes a wild party which included massive amounts of alcohol and sex in a public restroom.

The family has stated that they do not believe the police contention that there was no foul play. Salgado was found at the bottom of the pool several hours after the Calumet Township party for employees and guests.

NBC Chicago reports that a woman named Shelly, who is a friend of a township secretary, is noted as saying that Salgado "was creeping her out." Shelly at one point asked another man to ask Salgado to leave. Shelly was later discovered having sex at the party with a man she met earlier that evening.

No witnesses have stepped forward to offer any explanation as to how Salgado died. Off-duty police officers were in attendance but apparently did not witness Salgado's death.

The wrongful death suit looks to be challenging for Salgado's family. It appears that unless the family finds a witness that can testify to someone intentionally harming Salgado, they will have to claim that the Park District President or Blue Island was negligent. Negligence requires proof of a duty, a breach of the duty, factual/legal causation and damages.

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