Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC Articles Isaiah Orr - Wrongful Death?

Isaiah Orr - Wrongful Death?

By Ben Wright  Sep. 2, 2014 4:10p

The Accident

According to the Pima Country Medical Examiner autopsy report, Orr died of an accidental drowning after he fell into an open septic tank system at the Tower Mobile Home & RV Park. Orr was rescued by volunteer firefighters and rushed to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center where doctors were able to get a pulse three times. But Orr died while in flight to The University of Arizona Medical Center-University Campus in Tucson.

The Investigation

Kenny Angle of Graham County Sheriff's Office conducted an investigation into the death, deeming it an accident. According to an onlookers report, the opening to the septic tank that Orr fell through had previously been covered by a piece of plywood. But the plywood cover had been off for roughly three days prior to the accident. Graham County Health Department Director Neil Karnes declined to comment when he was asked about the septic tank system requirements at Tower Mobile Home & RV Park. He would not say if the business was in violation.

During the investigation, officers located other septic tanks at the park that were covered with plywood lids. One septic connection did not have a lid at all. Another one had just a thin sheet of aluminum to cover the opening. Kernie Dishaw, the park manager, told a deputy the last time he surveyed the park, the plywood lid was on the septic tank that Orr fell in. Dishaw added Stamback Septic last serviced the tank in March. Dishaw said that all issues with septic tank lids had been addressed by the park owner, Charles W. Bertino.

Charges of Negligence

In order to prove negligent homicide, the state has to satisfy three elements: 1.)The defendant was aware of an unjustifiable risk associated with the events that led to the death; 2.) prove an act or omission; 3.) show causation, such as a direct link between the negligent action and death.

“We have conducted investigations and interviewed witnesses along with attorneys representing possible defendants,” said Jared Smith, the attorney representing Orr's mother, Elizabeth Smith. “Depositions will be taken to determine certain aspects and to determine who should be added as defendants in the case.”

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