City of Sioux Falls pays $500,000 to family of five year-old girl who drowned in Big Sioux River

February 19, 2021

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – The City of Sioux Falls has agreed to pay $500,000 to the mother of the 5-year-old girl who drowned in the river at Falls Park three years ago.

Courtney Jayne claimed the city was negligent in the death of her daughter, Maggie Zaiger, who fell into the Big Sioux River and drowned in March of 2018.

The lawsuit alleged the city had been warned in previous safety reviews that conditions at the park were unsafe, particularly during spring melting when high volumes of water create a thick foam that appears to be solid.

The agreement states that the settlement is not an admission of fault or liability by either party.

After Zaiger’s death, the city installed additional fencing and viewing platforms in the area where she died.