Couple Awarded $31M After Rhode Island Pond Accident Left Man Paralyzed

A jury has awarded $31 million to an Iraq War veteran and his wife after a swimming accident at the University of Rhode Island left him paralyzed from the chest down.

The Providence Journal reports a Superior Court jury ruled in favor of Brett and Stacie Smith in a lawsuit against URI.

Brett Smith was injured in 2014 when he struck his head on a submerged rock in a pond at URI’s Alton Jones campus. He was there to attend a wedding and was among other guests swimming in the pond.

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His lawyer says staff members indicated swimming was allowed when guests had asked, even though it is prohibited. The lawsuit accused URI of negligence.

The Journal says a URI representative did not immediately respond to an email.

Information from: The Providence Journal

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