May 10, 2007

Family Sues Burger’s Lake Over Death COURTS

By Max B. Baker, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas

May 10--Burger's Lake, Fort Worth's popular private swimming hole, is being sued by the family of a 39-year-old man who drowned there two years ago.

Described as a "healthy, experienced swimmer," Phillip Flores was swimming with his brother and a friend in July 2005 when he "exhibited distress and then slipped below the surface," the lawsuit states.

Flores' family contends that Burger's Lake did not have enough policies, practices and procedures in place to help the drowning man even after his companions tried to lift him to the surface, the lawsuit says.

Flores' body was recovered by lifeguards who dived to the bottom from rowboats. They took his body to shore and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other lifesaving measures, court records show.

Authorities later said that Flores had been underwater for about five minutes.

Officials at Burger's Lake, which is scheduled to reopen for the summer this weekend, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Burger's Lake is a 30-acre facility that features a spring-fed, 1-acre pool with six diving boards, a 20-foot slide and a 25-foot trapeze, and two beaches. It is at 1200 Meandering Road in northwest Fort Worth, near Naval Air Station Fort Worth.

The lawsuit is the second against Burger's Lake in recent years.

Last year, a suit was filed by the mother of Tommy Lot, 18, a Venus High School senior who drowned at Burger's Lake.

Lot was on a senior class trip with about 100 classmates in May 2006. His body was found at the bottom of the water by a swimmer. The swimmer notified the lifeguards, and, according to the lawsuit, Lot was alive when he was pulled from the water. The lawsuit says Burger's employees failed to use the necessary lifesaving techniques to revive him.

Lot died at the hospital.

In court documents, attorneys for Burger's Lake owner Jimmy Dent denied the allegations. The case is set for trial early next year.

The attorney for the family in the Lot case did not return calls seeking comment.


Max B. Baker, 817-390-7714 [email protected]


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