Somali family in Minnesota reaches $3 million settlement with school

Ali Warsame and his wife Khatra Osman lost their 12-year-old son, Abdullahi Charif, after he drowned during a swimming lesson at St. Louis Park Middle School Feb. 27, 2014. [Jeffrey Thompson/MPR News]

Ali Warsame and his wife Khatra Osman lost their 12-year-old son, Abdullahi Charif, after he drowned during a swimming lesson at St. Louis Park Middle School Feb. 27, 2014. [Jeffrey Thompson/MPR News]

The family of Abdullahi Charif, a 12-year-old who drowned last year in the swimming pool of a middle school in Minnesota, has reached a $3 million settlement with the school district, the family’s attorneys said Thursday.

Abdullahi was found floating in the pool of St. Louis Park Middle School on Feb. 27, 2014. He died a few days later.

Abdullahi’s family filed a motion seeking punitive damages last May for the drowning, The Associated Press reported.

The school district then agreed to pay its entire insurance limit of $3 million, the family’s attorneys said.

The lawsuit contended that the district and the gym teacher supervising Charif’s class failed to properly supervise the boy, who was unable to swim.

“No amount of money can ever bring back Abdullahi, but by filing this lawsuit, we sought to change the school district’s approach to pool safety, so that no other family would ever have to lose a child the way our family did,” Ali Warsame, Abdullahi’s father, said in a statement released by the family’s attorneys.

Minnesota Public Radio News reported that the teacher involved in the incident “remains on paid administrative leave from the school district pending completion of internal investigations,” according to the school district, which said it was pleased the parties reached a “reasonable settlement.”

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