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Family reaches settlement in lawsuit over near-drowning

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KINSTON (AP) — A North Carolina family announced Tuesday it has reached a settlement in a lawsuit involving a near-drowning almost four years ago.

News outlets report the family of Jaekwon Williams announced at the Lenoir County Courthouse that a Superior Court judge approved a settlement in a lawsuit brought against the city of Kinston, a local water park and the city of Rocky Mount.

Officials said insurance carriers for Kinston paid $10 million, and more than $2.6 million for Rocky Mount.

WITN-TV in Greenville reported Woodlife Foundation, which owned the park, settled for an undisclosed amount. The foundation announced last year that it was giving the park to the city of Kinston and stepping away from the business.

"Obviously folks, no amount of money in the world can replace what's happened to Jay and the condition that he currently finds himself in," family attorney Ken Haigler said. "However, what has happened here, as agreed to by all parties, is fair, just, equitable and reasonable."

Haigler said Jaekwon, who was 9 years old at the time and couldn't swim, was found at the bottom of a pool on Aug. 11, 2014, during a field trip sponsored by the Rocky Mount Parks & Recreation Department. Williams had no pulse and was resuscitated before being rushed to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where he remained for weeks.

Haigler said Williams cannot walk or talk and needs constant medical attention.

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