Lawsuit Over Fatal 2017 Sand Cave-in Death in Ocean City Nears Settlement

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Empty ocean beach; image by Beto Galetto, via Unsplash.com.

Ashley O’Connor’s family await resolution to a lawsuit filed after her tragic death.

In 2017, a Texas woman, Ashley O’Connor, passed away after she was buried and trapped in the sand on an Ocean City beach. Fortunately for O’Connor’s family, a solution could soon come to the $ 1 million lawsuit filed over her tragic death. Earlier this week, O’Connor’s mother, Gayla Lutyk, and the City of Ocean City “filed a joint motion on Monday asking the judge to extend certain time limits in the lawsuit.”

Hammer rests on open book; Image by Verkeorg, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

The court records state:

“With no substance disclosure, the parties have made significant strides in resolving the matter and are optimistic that the matter will be resolved soon.”

Both parties to the lawsuit are seeking to extend the disclosure deadlines by 90 days, which they have done previously. This time, both parties are aiming for an extension to complete the negotiations.

What happened? How was O’Connor caught? According to the lawsuit filed in the US District Court, O’Connor died of asphyxiation when she was “buried in the sand near Second Street early on the morning of July 31, 2017”. Her body was eventually “found 1.5 feet below the surface in a 3.5 foot deep hole,” according to police reports. According to the lawsuit, O’Connor’s body was found by beachgoers a few hours after she separated from her family.

Her family filed a lawsuit against Ocean City, alleging they had “shown gross negligence that resulted in O’Connor’s death”. To make matters worse, the family claimed that “Ocean City’s beach tractors ran over them, causing them to be covered in sand and asphyxiating … The tractors are used to clear out rubbish and give them a smooth finish achieve. “In the court files it continues:

“On the night of July 31, 2017, (Ocean City) agents could not see what was clearly and / or should have been, namely the late Ashley O’Connor in a hole on the beach.”

In addition, O’Connor’s mother said that Ashley “experienced extreme pain and suffering as a result of the accident and that anything could have been avoided if Ocean City had better trained its staff, inspected the hole before sweeping over it, and warned would have visitors about the sweeper in advance. “

However, some of the witnesses who were on the beach that day said the sweeper driver had no way of knowing that Ashley was in the sand. A witness, Suellen Wagner, said, “I feel bad for the family, but I don’t think it was Ocean City’s responsibility.” She added, “This poor beach sweeper will have to live with it for the rest of its life. It was not your fault and you shouldn’t feel guilty and my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. “

Swell:

In Ocean City Sand Cave-In Death, the lawsuit is nearing a possible settlement

Ocean City sued for the death of Ashley O’Connor