The Dieudonne's were moving into their new home in Miramar, Florida, when for a moment, they lost track of their son, Isaac. Isaac was found floating in an algae-ridden backyard pool next-door. The home had been foreclosed. He could not be revived.
The couple sued for the wrongful death of their son.
But who is most responsible for this tragedy?
As parents, they lost sight of their son. Or were the property owners, servicing companies and maintenance firms responsible for making sure that the vacant home was secure?
The Diedonne's attorney named over 20 individuals or entities as defendants in the wrongful death suit, as she followed a complicated paper trail. Like foreclosed homes nation-wide, the home where the boy died had been the subject of much legal action. At one point in time, the property had two separate foreclosure actions pending on it. In addition, one of the firms that generated some of the documents purportedly transferring ownership of the property is under investigation for "fabricating and/or presenting false and misleading documents in foreclosure cases" according to the Florida Attorney General's Office.
Miramar's City Code has safety requirements for pool fencing and enclosure. Neither safety requirement was met in the Dieudonne case.
This is not the only case where a child has drowned at a foreclosed and abandoned property. We should all be vigilant about these types of dangers, as the foreclosure boom is a crisis, with thousands of foreclosed homes nationwide that pose a safety risk attractive to children.