DEERFIELD BEACH (CBSMiami) — Clutching their baby blankets and wearing pink ribbons with their names, the distraught parents of twin toddlers who drowned last month, pledged to end similar tragedies.
“These deaths were preventable, never should have happened and we will find out why,” said their attorney Andrew Yaffa.
The couple, Lashandra Bush and Howard West has filed a ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit against the property owner of Tivoli Park apartments in Deerfield Beach.
On April 8th, their two-and-a-half year old twin daughters, Harmony and Harmani West made their way out of their second floor apartment, across a backyard and through the gate of the swimming pool.
A neighbor found their lifeless bodies in the pool.
The couple who work early morning shifts at Target, had taken a nap after returning home. When they woke up, they discovered the girls had walked out of their apartment.
But the family and their attorney say the drownings would ‘not’ have happened, if the gate to the pool was working properly.
They claim that the latch on the pool gate was broken and that it had been broken for sometime.
After the accident, the gate was locked with a large chain.
When CBS4 News checked Friday, there was a ‘new’ latch installed on the pool gate that prevents it from staying open.
No one wanted to comment at the property manager’s office or at the property owner’s headquarters located in Boca Raton.
“These deaths are going to stand for something. It’s only May 2nd, and there have been nine deaths of children that should never have happened,” said Yaffa.
The parents of the toddlers say they would like to see the law changed to force property owners to secure pool gates.
They claim only one out of six pool gates at their sprawling complex is operating properly.
“I would like them to take responsibility. There’s a daycare next to a pool and only one operating right,” said Howard West.
“Hopefully we’ll call it Harmony’s law to require every community where children are housed to have self-latching gates that are operational,” said Yaffa.
While the 2014 Florida legislative session is ending, Yaffa said they will try to get legislation introduced for the 2015 session.