Sioux Falls faces lawsuit over girl’s drowning at Falls Park

The city of Sioux Falls is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after a 5-year-old Iowa girl drowned in the Big Sioux River at Falls Park.

The Argus Leader reports Sioux Falls attorney Brendan Johnson filed the federal lawsuit Thursday alleging the city failed to provide sufficient safety precautions at the park. Maggie Zaiger died March 18 after falling into the water from the river bank rocks.

Johnson is seeking damages on behalf of Zaiger’s mother, Courtney Jayne. The lawsuit claims the city had ignored recommendations to put up barriers to more clearly distinguish where the rock ends and the water starts.

Officials have since approved building viewing platforms and railings to improve safety. T.J. Nelson, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, declined to comment on the pending litigation.


Information from: Argus Leader,