- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the city of Sioux Falls over the drowning of a 5-year-old Iowa girl who fell into Big Sioux River at Falls Park two years ago.

Attorneys representing the city asked the court last year to dismiss the lawsuit. The suit was brought by Courtney Jayne, the mother of Maggie Zaiger, who fell into the river from river bank rocks on March 18, 2018, during a family trip to the park.

Jayne alleges the city is responsible because of a lack of signs and safety fencing in the park. Attorneys representing the city contend that officials responsible for park safety did not breach their duty.

U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier’s ruling will let a jury decide if safety precautions in place at Falls Park at the time of Zaiger’s death were enough, the Argus Leader reported.

“We look forward to the trial, obtaining justice for Courtney, and seeing changes made by the city of Sioux Falls to prevent this tragedy from happening to any more families in our community,” attorney Brendan Johnson, representing Jayne, said in a statement after the ruling.



The Sioux Falls City Attorney’s and mayor’s offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

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