Family of boy who drowned in park septic tank reaches settlement

Amari Harley would have turned 5 on Wednesday, family says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a toddler who drowned in an unsecured septic tank at an Arlington park has reached a settlement in a lawsuit it brought against a contractor after the child's death.

Amari Harley would have turned 5 years old Wednesday, the boy's parents said. He was 3 when his body was discovered inside a septic tank at Bruce Park in October 2017, where the family had gathered for a celebration.

A memorial with balloons and flowers sits in the park where Amari was found. Dee Coleman said she lives near the park and ensures the memorial is maintained.

"I come in and I clean it up, bring a little teddy bear or something to remind people that this incident happened and also to remind people to look over our children very closely," Coleman said.


Documents show Amari's family settled a lawsuit against ERS Corp., one of the companies hired by the city to maintain the septic tanks at Bruce Park. It's unclear how much the settlement was worth. A lawsuit against A1 Septic Service was also dismissed.

An attorney representing Amari's family members said they are preparing for a final lawsuit against the city, which has not been settled. It's unclear if the suit will go to trial.

Amari's family could not be reached Thursday for comment.