Iowa to Pay $2.1M to Sergeant Who Lost Her Son

By RYAN J. FOLEY | April 17, 2012

The state of Iowa will pay a $2.1 million settlement to a mother whose son died after nearly drowning in Germany in a program operated by the University of Northern Iowa.

The settlement ends a 2005 lawsuit filed by Ohio woman Vinnell Griffen. Her attorney said Friday the deal closes “a very horrific chapter in her life.”

Griffen was an Army sergeant in Germany in 2003 when her 10-year-old son Blake Jermon participated in Camp Adventure, a UNI program in which students are sent overseas to run camps for children of U.S. military personnel.

Jermon nearly drowned during an outing to a municipal pool, and was left with severe brain injuries. He died in 2006 from complications.

The lawsuit contended Camp Adventure failed to properly train employees and supervise Jermon.

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