Insurer For Montana City Settles Lawsuit With Family

November 4, 2013

The insurance company for the city of Billings has agreed to settle a lawsuit stemming from the death of a 41-year-old man at Rose Park pool.

The Billings Gazette reported that the agreement approved on Tuesday by District Judge Russell Fagg requires Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority to pay $900,000 to the family of Bart Bieber.

Under the agreement, Therese Bieber will receive $322,000 and each of her three minor children will receive $80,000 for a total of $562,000. The remainder will go toward various fees, including a one-third contingency fee to attorney John Heenan.

Bart Bieber died July 24, 2011, during a visit to Rose Park pool with his family. The family in the lawsuit contended lifeguards and other employees failed to call 911 when Bieber suffered a heart attack after coming out of the pool.

“Therese Bieber and her children all watched as Bart slowly died before their eyes,” the lawsuit said.

A bystander finally called for help, the lawsuit said, and emergency responders arrived within three minutes. But Bieber died a short time later at a hospital.

The lawsuit also said the city was negligent for failing to have an automated external defibrillator available at the pool. The settlement requires the city to place one at the pool before it opens next spring.

Tina Volek, city administrator, said the settlement was not discussed or approved by the City Council because it was handled by the city’s insurer.

The insurer is obligated to pay the $900,000 within 15 days of the agreement being approved. The settlement stipulates that separate trusts have been set up for Bieber’s children.

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