LAGUNA BEACH : Claim Rejected in Sea Cave Drowning
The City Council has rejected a $110-million claim filed against the city by the parents of a woman who drowned near Three Arch Bay this summer.
Lynn Scollard, 30, a Huntington Beach resident, had been walking through tide pools inside a sea cave with a friend on June 23 when she was swept off a rocky ledge and into treacherous underwater currents. The friend was able to climb to safety, but Scollard was unable to escape. Rescue workers pulled her body from the ocean more than an hour later.
John M. Van Dyke, an attorney for Scollard’s parents, said Thursday that a lawsuit will probably be filed in about two weeks against Laguna Beach and the U.S. Ocean Safety lifeguard service. Van Dyke said beach-goers should have been warned about the dangerous conditions near the accident site.
Lifeguards “had prior notice of this and they had been told to keep people off the rocks, but they didn’t do it,” he said.
Van Dyke likened the case to that of Laura Small, the young girl who was mauled by a mountain lion in Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park in 1986. Small was awarded more than $2 million last month by jurors who said the county was to blame in the attack.
U.S. Ocean Safety Director Mike Gaughan would not comment Thursday on the incident.