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Father of Injured Girl Testifies

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RALEIGH — A family's court battle has them relivingthe day they nearly lost their daughter. The father of Valerie Lakeytestified in court Tuesday about the day his child was disemboweled by apool drain.

Doctors say Valerie's medical problems will last throughout her lifeand her parents are suing the drain manufacturer for $40 million.

David Lakey said the incident was a horrible nightmare for his family.

On June 24, 1993, Valerie, then 3-years-old, sat on a drain in the babypool at their neighborhood swim club. David Lakey told the court Tuesdayhow frustrating it was when he saw his daughter was in distress, but couldnot pull her from the drain.

Attorneys for the Sta-Right pool drain company say the manufacturer isnot at fault. The Laker's attorney showed a video of her slow and painfulrecovery process.

David Lakey described the moment he knew his daughter would never bethe same.

This is a civil trial. There are no criminal charges involved.

The Laker's lawyers will wrap up their presentation before themanufacturer's side will be heard.

No ruling is expected until early next year.

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