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Judge drops parents' negligence lawsuit

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family River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

A judge in Chippewa County has dropped a civil lawsuit filed by the parents of a 16-year-old boy who drowned after jumping off a cliff in 2010.

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Justin Buss's family filed suit for $625,000, but Judge James Isaacson ruled that the town of Lafayette and its insurer have recreational immunity. Chippewa County and its insurer were dropped from the suit earlier.

Authorities said Buss was part of a group of young people swimming at Paint Creek, when he swung on a rope from the top of a cliff and struck another cliff before falling into the water.

Buss' parents accused the town and county of negligence by allowing the rope swing, and failing to put up warnings about jumping. Town chairman David Staber has said the town took measures before the accident to make things safer - but the young people kept putting up rope swings and zip lines every time they were taken down.

The town removed trees from the area a short time after Buss's death.

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