Hasidic Family of Waterpark Drowning Sues Summer Belz Camp for Negligence


BROOKLYN, NY (VINnews/Sandy Eller) – Nearly a year to the day after his nine year old son drowned at a waterpark while on a camp trip, a Brooklyn man has filed a lawsuit charging Camp Bnei Belz with negligence.

As previously reported on VIN News (https://bit.ly/39YIhCx), Hersch Meilich Grossman was pronounced dead shortly after being pulled from a pool at Sahara Sam’s Indoor Outdoor Water Park in West Berlin, New Jersey last July. Grossman was the grandson of Rabbi Osher Eckstein, the Belzer dayan of Borough Park, and had been submerged at the bottom of the five foot deep pool for an unknown amount of time when he was discovered as the children were preparing to go home.

The lawsuit was filed on August 3rd in Brooklyn Supreme Court and alleged that Camp Bnei Belz failed to provide adequate training, staffing and supervision for the trip. It also charged that Grossman “suffered severe conscious pain and suffering and fear of impending death.”

Attorney Alan Shapey, who is representing the child’s father, Moses Grossman, told the New York Post (https://bit.ly/3i1guEy) that there were 300 children from Camp Bnei Belz on the trip. According to Shapey, while the camp brought numerous counselors on the trip, it was unclear what they were doing when they should have been supervising the pool. Shapey also noted that Sahara Sam’s had only one lifeguard stationed at the pool where Grossman drowned and that legal action against its owner, Apex Parks Group, would be forthcoming as soon as the company resolves a bankruptcy issue.

Covering an area of 68,000 square feet, Sahara Sam’s has surfing simulators, indoor and outdoor pools, water rides and slides. Several hundred children from multiple Brooklyn camps had been enjoying a joint trip to the waterpark just prior to the onset of the Nine Days when the drowning occurred. No criminal charges were ever filed in the incident which was ruled accidental by local authorities.

“It’s a terrible tragedy for the family,” said Shapey, adding, “How do you get over the loss of your son?”

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