Washington City, University Sued Over Student Kayaking Death

February 6, 2013

The mother of a Gonzaga University student who died on a kayaking trip sponsored by the city of Spokane is suing the university and the city.

The lawsuit was filed by Susan Gormley, the mother of 18-year-old Christopher Gormley of Everett who died April 1 of hypothermia after his kayak flipped on Rock Lake in Washington.

The Spokesman-Review reported he was one of seven people on the trip organized by Gonzaga Outdoors, which contracted with the city parks department.

The lawsuit says a parks manual doesn’t allow kayaking trips when winds exceed the 13 to 18 mph range. The day of the trip the National Weather Service issued an advisory for winds of 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph.

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