No settlement yet in 2001 drowning of Sunnyside child

A lawsuit centered on the Sept. 11, 2001 drowning death of a Washington Elementary School student is still expected to go to court by late spring, according to a Sunnyside School District official.

The lawyers for both sides of the issue are preparing to go to court sometime in late spring or early summer, said Dr. Rick Cole, district superintendent.

The lawsuit was filed in Yakima County Superior Court in July 2003, claiming the school district had been negligent in its supervision of the child. School officials report the boy was prone to running away.

"We have no direct contact with the lawsuit as it is now in the hands of our insurance company," said Cole.

"I understand some attempts have been made for an out-of- court settlement," he said. "But it's also my understanding the case is still scheduled to go to trial in late spring," Cole added.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for the family of Joshua Hui, an autistic 6-year-old student who wandered away from the Jackson Street school on Sept. 11, 2001. The child was the subject of a city-wide search by the school district personnel and the Sunnyside Police Department, before his body was found in the canal near Southwest Crescent Avenue.

The lawsuit is being handled by Kevan S. Montoya of Yakima for Joshua Hui's parents, John and Qing-Fen Hui of Sunnyside, who allege the school district failed in its duty to properly monitor the boy.

. Julia Hart can be contacted at

(509) 837-4500, or you can e-mail her at


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