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Failure of Duty Complaint vs. City of Alameda – Crown Beach Drowning

On May 25, 2012, The Cartwright Law Firm filed a Complaint asserting Failure of Duty in California Superior Court, County of Alameda (RG 12632015) against the City of Alameda, and the County of Alameda, California, over the drowning of Raymond Zack on Memorial Day, 2011, on Crown Beach in Alameda, California. The emergency fire and police personnel on scene had a duty to act, and failed in that duty, even preventing other concerned citizens from acting to save Mr. Zack.

One year ago this Memorial Day, a travesty of a policy blunder resulted in an entire fire department standing on a beach in the island city of Alameda, California, watching for more than an hour as Raymond Zack slowly succumbed and drowned in full public view. On Friday, May 25th, 2012, The Cartwright Law Firm, of San Francisco, CA, representing Mr. Zack’s family, filed a Complaint against the City of Alameda, and the County of Alameda, for their negligence and failure of duty in the death of Raymond Zack on Memorial Day, May 30, 2011. Raymond Zack died of hypothermia when Alameda fire and police officers stood along the beach for almost an hour, watching Mr. Zack standing in shallow water, and then collapse face-down in the chilly waters, where he floated in excess of twenty minutes before a bystander, who refused to be deterred any further, finally waded out and retrieved the limp body of Raymond Zack. Unfortunately, too much time had elapsed for emergency personnel to revive him. Bystanders who watched while police and fire personnel prevented anyone else from helping Mr. Zack until after he had succumbed were outraged.

The Cartwright Law Firm has filed this Complaint on behalf of Mr. Zack’s family, who still have not received a plausible explanation for this bureaucratic blunder that took their brother’s life.

This coming Memorial Day weekend, on Saturday, May 26, at 4 PM, a group of concerned citizens will re-enact the events of that tragedy in the same place Raymond Zack lost his life, on Crown Beach in Alameda.

When citizens place their trust in emergency personnel, the failure to uphold that trust holds serious consequences. In this instance, those consequences led to the loss of a life.

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