Couple responds to wrongful death lawsuit

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Couple responds to wrongful death lawsuit

By PATRICK DONOHUE
pdonohue@beaufortgazette.com
Published Saturday, December 17, 2011   |  304 Words  |  

A Beaufort couple's attorney has denied they are liable for the death of a 6-year-old Beaufort boy found at the bottom of a pool during a party they hosted.

An attorney for John and Julia Sanford filed their response to a wrongful-death lawsuit brought against them in October by the family of Camilo Andres Restrepo-Lopez.

In a six-page filing, attorney Laura Evans of Charleston denied that the Sanfords failed to properly supervise the Aug. 20 pool party. The response also says the Sanfords were never told by the boy's parents that he could not swim, as the lawsuit claims.

During the party, Lopez was found at the bottom of the pool and taken to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he died two days later, according to the Beaufort County Coroner's Office.

No criminal charges were filed because the fatality was ruled accidental, a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said.

Lopez's family seeks actual and punitive damages.

It still is unclear who will preside over the case after Beaufort County Master in Equity Judge Marvin Dukes recused himself from the lawsuit last month, citing an unspecified conflict.

John Sanford is the brother of former Gov. Mark Sanford.

The Sanford Land Co. and the Sanford Family Partnership also are defendants in the suit. The Sanford family entities own and maintain Coosaw Plantation, where the accident took place, the lawsuit states.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.

Related content:

Judge recuses himself from wrongful-death lawsuit, Oct. 28, 2011

August pool death brings lawsuit, Oct. 9, 2011