Rhode Island High Court Vacates Lower Court Decision in Drowning Case

April 22, 2019

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has vacated a lower court’s decision that ruled in favor of a swimming pool retailer sued by the parents of a 4-year-old boy who drowned in one of their pools.

Raymond Oliver and Tiffany Gear filed the lawsuit against Namco LLC and others after their son, Nicholas Gear, drowned in 2012 in a pool at his grandmother’s Portsmouth home.

Namco argued for summary judgment because, among other things, it said it did not install the pool, and a Superior Court judge agreed.

The parents argued the pool was installed by a company included on a list of Namco-approved installers.

The high court in Tuesday’s decision said there remains a question of whether the installer acted as an agent of Namco, and remanded the case to Superior Court.

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