Jupiter, FL October 22, 2023—In an electrocution incident at Harbourside Place, one person lost their life trying to save a child who fell into the plaza fountain; while several others were injured. Tragically, onlookers who attempted to intervene became victims themselves due to alleged electrical issues.
Graver Personal Injury Attorneys expresses its deepest condolences to the victims and their families during this difficult time. As a former visitor and guest of Harbourside Place, Founder and Trial Attorney James Graver spent time by that very fountain with his own children on multiple occasions. This blog post seeks to shed light on this tragic incident and discuss the potential legal implications surrounding it.
A tragic incident at Harbourside Place:
Officers were dispatched to Harbourside Place on that fateful Sunday at 3:33pm. The fountain behind the children’s splash pad on the north end had became the site of a devastating event when Nate Davenport, 45, was electrocuted while pulling his children out of the fountain.
Officers arrived on the scene to find this man lying unconscious by the fountain and receiving chest compressions from a waitress, Thotyelwa Mhlakaza-Faust, 38. The officer then took over the CPR until Palm Beach County Fire Rescue arrived.
That same officer also spoke to Davenport’s friend, 49-year-old Seth Kozak, who told him that the children were also being shocked. Furthermore, Kozak said the fountain was shut off by a bystander.
As a result, PBCFR transported three juvenile patients to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach with pediatric trauma alerts. Additionally, an adult victim, now known to be their father, was taken to Jupiter Medical Center.
The incident prompted a coordinated response from local agencies and underscores the need for reasonable safety protocols in public spaces. Since then, local authorities have been collaborating with Harbourside Place’s owners and Florida Power & Light (FPL) to investigate the exact cause.
Harbourside Investigation and Updates:
The purpose of on-site investigation is to collect information and document conditions while determining a root cause analysis to determine the cause(s).
The town of Jupiter Building Department began an inspection that discovered that some light fixtures in the fountain were leaking electrical voltage, rendering the “fountain unsafe.”
Then, in a 74-page letter to Harbourside Place dated November 6, Jim Brown, Interim Building Official with the Town of Jupiter writes “The electrical system for the fountain is declared unsafe. The letter also reiterated that the electrical system for the interactive water fountain should remain powered down until a cause was found.
More specifically, it called for a system evaluation to be conducted by a State of Florida licensed professional and for a repair to be designed and implemented; or for the fountains to be demolished.”
Currently, the fountain sits drained and tarped.
The Importance of Safety Measures at Harbourside Place:
Determining whether appropriate safety measures are in place is an important part of every investigation; especially when there are severe injuries reported or loss of life.
Inevitably, investigators will be looking at a wide array of things from maintenance records to safety test records and even signage.
For example, signs on the property and near the fountain included:
A fountain and splash pad rules sign, which specified no swimming, climbing, or diving.
Moreover, an investigation into how the alleged electrical problem occurred is still ongoing at this time.
Unfortunately, this tragic incident serves as a reminder of the critical role regular and routine safety measures play in preventing accidents and injuries.
The Path Forward:
As the investigation continues and more information becomes available, there will be questions concerning liability and responsibility.
It’s important for victims and their families to seek legal counsel to understand their rights and explore potential legal actions.
The fountain incident at Harbourside Place serves as a stark reminder of the importance of safety measures in public spaces. While the investigation unfolds, our thoughts are with the victims and their families.
Legal Representation for tragic incidents:
At the Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A., we are committed to providing support, guidance, and dedicated legal representation to those affected in these types of devastating events. We provide a free consultation, and guarantee that you pay nothing until we win your case. And in a premises case such as this one, our trial attorneys are prepared to take it all the way to court and get the justice you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a direct result of this or another similar tragic incident, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A. for a case evaluation. We are here to help you understand your rights and provide the legal support you will need during these heartfelt challenging times.