Parents Of Child Who Drowned At Tommy Lee's House File Suit

By | February 23, 2002 at 12:00 AM

The parents of the boy who drowned at Tommy Lee’s home last summer are suing the rocker for wrongful death and negligence. Actress Ursula Karven and television producer James Veres filed a lawsuit on February 15 in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Lee of failing to provide proper supervision of their 4-year-old son, Daniel, who died at Lee’s Malibu mansion on June 16.

The lawsuit claims Daniel, who had no swimming experience, and other children were left unsupervised in a swimming pool at Lee’s home. The children were attending a birthday party for Brandon Lee, the 5-year-old son of Lee and ex-wife Pamela Anderson. The lawsuit also names up to 50 John Does, unspecified employees of Lee, and accuses all of the defendants of “focusing their attention on socializing with other employees, friends and bystanders at the party.”

Karven and Veres contend their son had only been unconscious for a few minutes and could have been saved, but that no one at the home was properly trained in CPR or first aid. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which ruled the death an accident and did not charge Lee, said at the time that two adults tried to resuscitate the boy.

The lawsuit charges Lee with general negligence, negligent supervision, wrongful death and premises liability, which would hold Lee responsible for whatever happens on his property. The suit notes that the pool “has a black bottom which obscures visibility” and that the configuration of it “required even greater vigilance and observance of those using” it.

Karven’s and Veres’ attorney, Tom Girardi, is out of the country, but his spokesperson, Michael Levine, said the boy’s family is more interested in justice than financial gain.

“To experience the wrongful death of your child is beyond the depth of an ordinary mind,” Levine said. “Girardi is the leading wrongful death dude. For him to take this [case on] is intense. This is not a good day for Tommy Lee. Talking yourself out of this one will be like dragging a wet mattress up a spiral staircase.”

Shortly after his son’s death, Veres said there was no excuse for the drowning.

Karven and Veres are seeking reimbursement for medical care, funeral expenses, loss of earnings as a result of the incident, and punitive damages for their pain and suffering.

A spokesperson for Lee, the former drummer for Mötley Crüe, did not return messages. Lee has 30 days to file a response.

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