Minneapolis Golf Club settles case with girl hurt by drain

Abigail Taylor bill-signing
Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the state's pool safety bill into law on May 22, 2008. Joining Governor Pawlenty (from the left) were Grace Taylor, Abigail's sister; Katey Taylor, Abigail's mother; bill author Sen. Geoff Michel (R-Edina) Eileen and Jay Taylor, Abigail's grandparents; and Scott Taylor, Abigail's father
State of Minnesota photo

(AP) - The Minneapolis Golf Club has reached an $8 million settlement with the family of Abigail Taylor, the 6-year-old girl who was fatally injured by a swimming pool drain, the club president said.

"I'm very pleased," said Herb Houndt, club president, on Wednesday. "We'd like to bring closure to this for both the club and Taylor family."

Taylor died of injuries she suffered last summer when she sat on the drain of the club's wading pool. The powerful suction ripped out part of her intestinal tract.

She died in March at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha where she had undergone triple organ transplant surgery shortly before Christmas.

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Houndt said the settlement exceeded the $6 million limit on the club's insurance, so the members had to vote to get a $2 million bank loan to pay the difference. A majority of members approved the deal when the ballots were counted Sunday, he said.

After Abigail died, her family was instrumental in persuading the state Legislature and the U.S. Congress to pass new pool safety laws that require entrapment-proof drain covers for new public pools.

The state law also requires daily physical inspections of drain covers and forces operators of pools that lack redundant suction outlets to put them in. Only single-family residential pools are exempt.

Messages left with the Taylor family and their attorney were not immediately returned Wednesday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)