Family of boy who drowned at Boston beach sues city, mayor

BOSTON (WHDH/AP) — The family of the 7-year-old boy who drowned at a Boston beach while attending a city-run summer camp has sued the city, camp supervisors and Mayor Marty Walsh.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court by the parents of Kyzr Willis alleges negligence for ignoring a state law requiring life jackets for children who are weak or non-swimmers.

Willis drowned in July 2016 while attending a drop-in program at a community center overseen by the city.

“No one knows when he went in the water. No one knows how long he was in the water. No one saw him get out of the water,” said family attorney Robert Griffin Thursday at a press conference.

Attorneys for the family say the city ignored a state law known as “Christian’s Law,” which is aimed at protecting kids who can’t swim at camp. It was named after a boy who drowned ten years ago at a camp in Sturbridge. The law requires that campers be given a swim test.

The suit also alleges the program failed to provide enough lifeguards, counselors and lifejackets. It says the camp failed to inform Kyzr’s parents he would be near the ocean.

Kyzr’s parents say they hope changes will be made at camps in order to prevent a repeat incident.

“Make sure that the camps have rules and regulations,” said Melissa Willis. “Make sure they have life jackets.”

Walsh told 7News that Willis’ death was a sad day and that the Willis family has a right to sue. He says he hopes to “work something out.”

The family is seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages. The city has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit.

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