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Manteca being sued after body found in storm drain system
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The mother of a man that died in a Manteca park is suing the city.

San Francisco attorney Mary Alexander filed the lawsuit Wednesday in San Joaquin County Superior Court seeking monetary damages.

In a press release issued by Alexander’s office, it contends Anthony Fernand — referred to as a young man with no age given — died at Kevin O’Neil Park, a neighborhood Park that backs up to the 120 Bypass off of Laurel Park Circle east of the new Staybridge Suites along Daniels Street.

The death occurred on March 14, 2023.

The release states “Anthony Fernand was at Kevin O’Neil Park when he suddenly and without warning fell through an open storm drain and drowned.”

However, the next paragraph basically infers no one actually saw what led up to the death.

The release notes on “March 14, 2023, one or more employees of the City of Manteca were performing random checks of the water pump stations at Kevin O’Neil Park when they noticed a foul odor and an object in the storm drain in Water Pump Station #35. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the object was the body of Anthony Fernand.”

The storm retention basins at parks are basically the same throughout Manteca.

 The complaint alleges that the open storm drain was a dangerous condition in that it did not have any covers, plates, grates, guardrails, fences, barricades, safety platforms, warning signs, or alarms to prevent park-goers from “falling in.”

 “This is a tragic circumstance that could have been avoided had the proper precautions been taken by the City of Manteca to keep all park-goers safe,” Alexander stated in the release. “A young man’s life was taken far too soon and unexpectedly, leaving his mother to mourn his death and address all the negligent ways in which the city could have prevented this from happening.”

The plaintiff is Lori Fernand.

The amount of damages being sought wasn’t listed bit the filing document indicated it is an unlimited amount exceeding $35,000.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email