Family Whose Son Died in Septic Tank Awarded $21M Settlement

According to the Taunton Gazette, the parents of a 3-year-old boy who died after falling into a septic tank six years ago have been awarded a judgment of more than $21 million.

Three-year-old Jaecen Cambronero died after the May 4, 2006 accident at his family’s Richmond Street home. “This is a widespread problem, not just in Taunton, but in various rural areas of Massachusetts and the rest of the country, that there are unsecured septic systems,” said Michael Rezendes, the attorney representing Rody and Janalyn Cambronero, Jaecen’s parents.

Many children each year die from falling into unsecured septic systems. The Camrboneros had moved to Taunton, MA from Brockton, MA just four days before the accident that claimed their young son’s life. “The parents were outside with Jaecen and his sister, who was a baby,” Rezendes said. “They turned around and he was just gone.” The police and fire department searched the area for the missing toddler.

“Fifteen minutes after the fire department got there, a firefighter rested his foot on the lid to the septic tank, and the lid flipped open, and there he was,” Rezendes said.

“The defendant performed the inspection in a grossly negligent manner and breached a warranty that the premises, including the septic system, were in proper condition,” Judge Thomas McGuire Jr. wrote in the judgment, which was given Monday in New Bedford Superior Court. “The cover of the septic system was defective.”

Of the several defendants, only one, Carlos A. Costa, doing business as Classic Home Inspection & Services, did not settle out of court during the six-year-long legal process. Classic Home Inspection & Services is responsible for paying the portion of the $21,050,000 judgment that remains after the previous settlements from other defendants are applied to the judgment.

The original legal complaint lists the other defendants as Soares Enterprises, Abreau Brothers Trucking, J&R Precast, Bay State Sewage disposal, Anthony Abreau, Robert Soares Jr. and Soares Sanitation Pumping. Michael Rezendes said he hopes the case will bring greater attention to safety issues surrounding home septic systems. “There are regulations that do control this, but the regulations aren’t always followed,” he said. “It’s very important, and it’s certainly going to send a message to installers of systems and manufacturers that they need to be conscious of the regulations.”

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident as a result of negligence, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or 713-222-7211.