ESTERO, Fla.- The family of a student who died on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University is now suing the school.
Joel Johnson, 21, was a junior at FGCU when he drowned in an on-campus lake. The lawsuit claims that once FGCU decided to provide a swimming lake for students, it had an obligation to monitor the beach and lake front areas more closely or prevent swimming when supervision was unavailable. t
The video shows the scene in June of 2011.
Friends told investigators that Johnson got stuck under the water trampoline at the on campus swimming area and they were unable to pull him out. The lake was shut down for for nearly a year while the university made improvements to the area and FGCU has said the renovations were made in direct response to Johnson's death.
The lawsuit is filed on behalf of both of Johnson's parents and asks for $15,000 in wrongful death damages. Both parents are also seeking damages for mental pain and suffering. The family's lawyer tells our partners at the News-Press that even though he plans to seek a considerable amount of damages at trial, since FGCU is a public university it is subject to sovereign immunity, so the court could decide to limit damages to $200,000 per parent.
We have reached out to both sides for comment and will have more coming up on WINK News, live at 4:00.