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.

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