The family of Kyzr Willis, who drowned while at a city-run summer program at Carson Beach last year, is suing Mayor Walsh, the city and individual workers at the program.
The family filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court, but the city quickly moved to have the suit heard in federal court because of the constitutional issues involved - the city is charged with violating the boy's 14th Amendment rights.
The suit also charges the city violated a state law known as Christian's Law, after a boy who drowned at a Sturbridge beach, that requires kids in waterfront programs be given wristbands if they can't swim and that all be offered life jackets.
According to the suit, Kyzr, 7, could not swim, and on July 26, 2016, asked one of the workers at the BCYF program for a life jacket.
On that day, Kyrr, who was wearing his fluorescent swim trunks ... expressed to camp counselor Jane Doe that he wanted a life jacket, but was told by Jane Doe that there were only pink ones for girls available, so he was never given a life jacket.
During that entire day, not a single lifeguard, not a single camp counselor, not a single camp supervisor or director made Kyzr wear a lifejacket as he played close to and in the ocean.
The family is asking for unspecified damages for the suffering Kyzr experienced during his death and for the suffering the family continues to suffer as a result of it.
Earlier this year, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office ruled that there was no foul play involved in his death.
Complete Willis complaint (2.2M PDF).