Federal Government Sued After Man Drowns in Yuba River


The widow of a California man who died in a Yuba River boating tragedy has filed a wrongful death suit against the federal government. The woman, Brigid Bailey, is seeking unspecified damages stemming from the death of her husband, Joseph Bailey, at Daguerre Point Dam in May 2005.

Mr. Bailey and his two sons went over the submerged dam in a boat because no signs were posted to warn of the hazardous conditions. Dam warning signs were supposed to be posted six miles, four miles, 1,500 feet, 1000 feet and at other locations upstream from the dam but were not. The signs had been made but had not yet been posted.

The Baileys had started their boating trip six miles upriver from the dam. One son, Sam, made it to the riverbank safely, and Joseph pushed his other son, Paul, out of harm’s way far enough for him to be rescued by another boater. But Joseph was pulled underwater and drowned; his body was found down river twelve days later.