The parents of a 7-year-old boy who drowned during a field trip to a West Philadelphia recreation center pool have lodged a lawsuit against the city and the Travelers Aid Society of Philadelphia.

Aisha Watson and Radu O'Connor filed the Common Pleas Court lawsuit Thursday in the death of their son, Ja'briel O'Connor, who died July 19, one day after being found unresponsive at the bottom of the pool at Cobbs Creek Recreation Center.

They contend that the defendants' "negligent, reckless and outrageous conduct" led to their son's death. Ja'briel, who had just turned 7, died while participating in a summer day camp operated by Travelers Aid, which runs a shelter at 49th and Race Streets.

The suit alleges that the boy's mother told camp officials before the outing that Ja'briel could not swim.

On July 18, Ja'briel was taken into the pool with about 30 other children, was not given a flotation device, and was not properly supervised, the suit states. Ja'briel, who was pronounced dead the next day at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was 4 feet, 4 inches tall. The pool ranges from three to five feet deep.

Calls to Travelers Aid were not returned, and officials at the rec center could not be reached.

vclark@phillynews.com

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