A summary judgment motion hearing in a wrongful death suit brought by a mother accusing the city of Wood River of causing her four-year-old’s drowning death is set for Sept. 12 in Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth's court.

Plaintiff Laura M. Pauley claims her four-year-old son, Ryan W. McGrath, drowned in a retention pond after walking through a tunnel and onto a spillway, where he lost his footing, slipped and fell. The death occurred at a retention pond Wood River maintained near Sixth Street, the suit states.

In her 2011 suit, Pauley blames Wood River for causing her son’s death, saying the city negligently failed to prevent access to the spillway or retention pond, failed to warn of the dangers associated with the spillway, failed to maintain a proper guard to look out for children near the spillway and failed to provide a safe walking surface on the spillway.

Wood River, represented by James Cook of Walker and Williams in Belleville, is seeking summary judgment.

Edward J. Szewczyk of Callis, Papa, Hale, Szewczyk and Danzinger in Granite City and Derek L. Filcoff of the Law Office of Derek L. Filcoff in Granite City represents Pauley.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-41.

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