CREATED Jan. 15, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The mother of an FGCU student has filed a lawsuit suing the university where her son died.
Attorney Marc Ginsberg of Hialeah is representing the student's mother, Claudine Brown.
Claudine Brown's son, Joel Johnson, died on FGCU's campus at a lake in June of 2011. The drowning happened during the early morning hours (1am) outside of the recommended swimming hours. The lawsuit was filed this past November saying the school should have monitored the lake more closely.
"They closed the lake for alittle bit. It had locks on the chairs and couldn't go in the water because of what happened," said student Logan Snider who recalls the lake being closed for quite some time.
The university closed the beach for nearly a year after the drowning to make improvements. Fox 4 discovered the school was operating the waterfront without a required permit from the county health department. The permit is required to make sure regulations are met when it comes to preventing diseases and accidents. Here is what FGCU told Fox at the time.
"I'm not sure that most people are aware that a permit is required for a university waterfront operations certainly we were not," said FGCU spokeswoman Susan Evans in Sept. of 2011.
The lake reopened and gained compliance after renovations about 10 months ago. The campus lake is open and students still frequent the waterfront. There is now an outdoor storage area and students say swimming is only allowed when a lifeguard is present. There are also caution signs warning swimmers of deeper water.
Fox 4 reached out to the family's attorney and FGCU. Fox has no heard back yet for comment.