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Family of Fargo South drowning victim plans to file wrongful death suit

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The family of a Fargo south teen who died after being found unresponsive in a school pool plans on filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

This comes nearly 2 years after the 19-year-old's death.

Documents filed this past week in Cass County Court show the victim's brother plans on filing a lawsuit, although it's unclear whom it would be against.

It was February 18th, 2014 when Frederic Ndererimana body was pulled from the deep end of the Fargo South High School pool.

At the time of his drowning, two teachers were there and one was a certified lifeguard.

Days later on March 8th, he died in a Fargo hospital.

His brother, Gabriel Rukundo is filing on behalf of the family as their parents are dead and their sister is in a refugee camp.

Rukundo is reaching the statute of limitations with the case as it happened almost two years ago.

That means he only has a few days to officially file the suit.

WDAY reached out to lawyers for Rokundo and the Fargo Public Schools, but they did not return my requests. 

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Fargo (Forum News Service) - The family of a teen who died after being pulled unconscious from the Fargo South High School pool intends to file a wrongful death suit, according to a court filing.

Frederic Ndererimana, 19, was in the pool with his high school gym class on Feb. 18, 2014, when he was rescued. He died March 8, 2014, at Essentia Health.

The news of his family's plans to sue came through the filing of a probate case Wednesday in Cass County District Court.

Because Ndererimana's estate needs a representative before the family can bring a wrongful death suit, his brother, Gabriel Rukundo of Fargo, applied through the court to be the representative. Rukundo's application says the task should fall to him because Ndererimana's parents are dead and his sister, Beatrice Mukashema, is in a refugee camp in Rwanda, Africa.

The court filing does not say who will be the target of the lawsuit or how much money will be sought. A similar case in St. Cloud, Minn., in which a 13-year-old drowned in a school pool in 1999, led to a suit against the school district there and resulted in a $500,000 settlement for the family, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

AnnMarie Campbell, a spokeswoman for Fargo Public Schools, said the district has not received notice of a lawsuit concerning Ndererimana's death. The district has designated attorney Howard Swanson of Grand Forks to handle the matter, she said.

During the Feb. 18, 2014, incident at Fargo South, there were two teachers on the pool deck, and at least one of them was a certified lifeguard, the school district has said.

At the time, the district, which operates three pools, did not have a written policy on pool safety. Ndererimana's death prompted the district to draft one, Campbell said.

The district's written policy requires that a certified lifeguard be present whenever a pool is in use. A lifeguard cannot simultaneously serve as a teacher or coach, or have any added duties that could distract them from watching the pool, according to the policy.

Messages left for Swanson and the attorney for Ndererimana's estate, Mark Hellerud of Ada, Minn., were not returned Thursday. Attempts to reach Rukundo by phone were unsuccessful.

When the suit will be filed is unclear, but the statute of limitations for doing so expires March 8, two years after Ndererimana's death.

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