Tommy Lee Cleared Of Drowning Charges
Rock musician Tommy Lee was not to blame for the drowning of a 4-year-old boy during a children's birthday party at his home, a jury concluded.
The panel of nine women and three men deliberated less than three hours Thursday before unanimously rejecting the wrongful death lawsuit brought by actress Ursula Karven and TV producer James Veres.
The couple's son, Daniel Karven-Veres, drowned on June 16, 2001, during a birthday party for Lee's son Brandon.
"Although I am relieved that the court has found me not negligent, there are no winners in this sad situation," Lee said in a statement.
Daniel's parents left court without commenting.
The suit, which sought $10 million, maintained that Lee was to blame for holding a pool party for children that did not include a lifeguard or someone who was trained in CPR.
Daniel's mother also testified that she didn't know there would be swimming at the party, adding if she had she would have had her son take his water wings with him.
Lee testified that he did everything he could to ensure the safety of his son's guests, including requiring that every child who attended have an adult there to supervise them.
His attorney, James Baratta, had argued that responsibility for Daniel's safety rested with his parents, who did not accompany him to the party, and two other people who were supposed to watch him.
Daniel was sent to the party with a caretaker, a German exchange student who can no longer be located. When the caretaker left early to attend a concert, both sides said, he placed Daniel in the care of a nanny who was there to watch other children.
Source: WashingtonPost.com / AP
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