Annie Cosby Jan. 5, 2015, 9:55am


Two Harris County parents are suing over claims their 4-year-old daughter drowned in a backyard pool at a birthday party.

Stephen Smith and Sharena Williams, individually and as next friend of Stephanie Smith, deceased, filed a lawsuit Nov. 3 in Galveston County District Court against Ronnie Bordelon, citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Sharena Williams and her 4-year-old daughter, Stephanie Smith, attended a birthday party at Bordelon's home on Volney in LaMarque on August 17. The complaint states that many guests swam in the pool in Bordelon's back yard but Williams did not allow her daughter to do so.

Williams says the pool was surrounded by grass and dirt, and because guests ran around the back yard and then entered the pool, the water became cloudy and dirty, to the point that the bottom of the pool could not be seen. According to the complaint, Stephanie Smith was playing in the sandbox when she disappeared and her mother immediately began searching for her. Williams says that she could not see her daughter in the pool because it was so dirty, but after about 30 minutes of frantic searching, the pool began to clear and Stephanie was found at the bottom, lifeless.

Bordelon is accused of premises liability and negligence in failing to properly supervise and lifeguard his pool, gate or fence the pool, and abate a dangerous condition on his property.

Smith and Williams seek more than $1 million in wrongful death damages, including medical and funeral expenses, loss of consortium, loss of inheritance, interest, costs and attorney fees.

They are represented by attorneys Jason C. Webster, Heidi O. Vicknair and Omar R. Chawdhary of The Webster Law Firm in Houston.

Galveston County District Court case number: 14-CV-1173

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