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YMCA of Long Island settles wrongful-death lawsuit

Marc Dawson, 17, died on Feb. 18, 2008

Marc Dawson, 17, died on Feb. 18, 2008 in a YMCA pool. Photo Credit: Handout

A settlement has been reached in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the YMCA of Long Island in the 2008 drowning death of a Greenlawn teen.

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

Marc Dawson was a 17-year-old senior at Harborfields High School in Greenlawn and a lifeguard at the YMCA in Huntington. While on a break on Feb. 18, 2008, he was apparently practicing for Navy SEAL training in a 4-foot-deep lap pool when a lifeguard noticed him unconscious at the bottom of the water. He died a week later.

Ray Dawson, Marc's father, sued, alleging the plaintiffs were "reckless, careless, and negligent in the ownership, operation, management, maintenance, control, life guarding and supervision of the subject premises."

The defendants were the YMCA of Long Island, based in Glen Cove, which oversees the Huntington facility; two teen lifeguards on duty, an aquatics coordinator and an adult lifeguard who were on the premises.

Mark L. Smith, YMCA spokesman, said a settlement was reached in November.

"All parties agreed to resolution of the outstanding legal matters in November 2014 in order to move past what was ultimately a tragic accident," Smith said in an emailed statement. "All parties believe this is the most positive way to reflect on the memory and legacy of Marc Dawson, and will keep the exact terms of the mediated settlement private."

Calls to Michael Perrotta, the Huntington-based lawyer who represented Ray Dawson, were not immediately returned.

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