Iowa Woman Sues Sioux Falls After Daughter’s Death at Falls Park

SIOUX FALLS. S.D.- An Iowa woman whose daughter drowned at Falls Park this past spring has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Sioux Falls. Five-year-old Maggie Zaiger, of Audubon Iowa, fell into the Big Sioux River on March 18th while visiting the park with her family.

“The biggest things that I miss about her was she was so, she was me, but miniature. You know we were almost I feel like the same people,” said Courtney Jayne, Maggie’s mom.

Jayne says no one should lose their child like she did.

“It’s horrible that I have to go through this, her sisters have to go through this, my family, but ultimately the thing that is the most horrific to me is that my daughter died in the way that she did and it didn’t have to happen,” said Jayne.

She is suing the City of Sioux Falls for 75-thousand dollars. Her lawyer is South Dakota’s former U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson.

“You know it was a death that was so preventable,” said Johnson.

Jayne alleges that prior to the death of her daughter, the city, which owns Falls Park, was aware of the dangers of the falls as well as the foam that can build up in the spring and did not sufficiently address those dangers.

“We are hoping there will be some justice for Maggie. We’re hoping that this is something that will open eyes of people in Sioux Falls that we have, although the Sioux Falls is beautiful, it is dangerous,” said Johnson.

According to the complaint filed by Jayne, this lawsuit also takes into account the two people who died from being caught in the foam in March of 2013. As well as seven other drownings since 1982.

“What has happened is what it is and you know no amount of blame is going to bring her back. I just want to make sure from this point forward it doesn’t happen again,” said Jayne.

KDLT reached out to the City Of Sioux Falls. They said they will not comment on pending litigation.


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