Drownings shed light on tubing safety, lawsuit filed

After recent drownings, legal action is being taken to help make tubing safer.

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - Drownings on the Comal River are bringing attention to the safety standards for river-goers, and one family has decided to take legal action to make sure others stay safe.

On July 4, New Braunfels police said a group discovered the body of 29-year-old Jorge Chapa Gonzalez from Bayton.

The same time last year, 47-year-old Curtis Goldman, a Universal City resident, drowned in the river. Goldman was last seen going under the water, and a snorkeler found his body. In both cases, the men had rented from tubing companies and were not wearing life jackets.

Goldman's family filed a lawsuit against Texas Tubes. He rented a tube from the company.

"His family is devastated. They don't want to come back here because of the bad memories. In fact, they had to relive it yesterday, on the one year anniversary," said Greg Gallagher, attorney.

Gallagher, the attorney representing the Goldman family, said they want tubing companies to implement stronger safety standards.

Texas Tubes does not require renters to sign a waiver, and life jackets are free with a rental but it's optional. The owner of Texas Tubes says he had no comment on the lawsuit.

"They want Curtis' untimely death to have meaning too. So no one else has to do this again. Another family is going through that as we speak," said Gallagher. "They're at fault for not providing my client's loved one with the information and warning he needed to make a decision."

It's unclear which tubing company Gonzalez had rented from the day he died. Police are still investigating what caused his death and are also waiting on an autopsy.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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