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Confidential Settlement and Removal of Dangerous Dam

A small and dangerous Montgomery County dam on Perkiomen Creek, which caused the drowning of a father and son and at least five other deaths in past years, was removed as a result of wrongful death litigation pursued by Roberta D. Pichini and Jason A. Daria, which also resulted in a substantial monetary settlement, the terms of which are confidential.

The removal of the so-called Goodrich Dam, which was unmarked and not visible until boaters on the creek were upon it, was the primary goal of the plaintiff, Joanna House of Collegeville. Her husband, Fred, and son, Paul, drowned on the Perkiomen Creek during a canoe trip.

The dam was near the Lower Perkiomen Valley County Park. The so-called “low-head” dam was built in the 1940s to provide cooling water for a tire plant in Oaks, but had served no purpose in later years. These low-head dams, only a few feet high, are dangerous because the falling water creates turbulence that can trap bodies underneath and lead to drowning.

Following the settlement, Pichini and Daria kept in close touch during the long and bureaucratic process of removing the dam to make sure that it was completed.