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Second wrongful death lawsuit filed against Jacksonville diving school

The family is Fausto Martins is suing the CDA Technical Institute following his April death during a training dive.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The family of Fausto Martins is taking the CDA Technical Institute, a Jacksonville diving school, to court.

The 41-year-old student died in April.  

His family says he drowned after complaining of water leaking into his helmet during a training dive.

The executive director of one of the accreditation groups which oversaw the school calls Martins' death troubling. 

RELATED: 'Stay alive don’t dive' | Families held signs chanting at institute where two students drowned

"All the industry can do at this point now is ensure that this never happens again," said Phil Newsum, with the Association of Diving Contractors International.

Following Martins' death, Newsum says the ADCI planned to conduct an audit of the school to include inspecting the equipment and the credentials of the instructors, but CDA declined.

Credit: Courtesy: Martins Family
Fausto Martins, 41, died in April during a training dive with the CDA Technical Institute.

The school then pulled its membership from the association.

"If they can't be vetted, and you refuse to submit to an audit, that would be a massive red flag for me, Newsum said.

Martins' family says the school failed to properly inspect the diving equipment, repair or replace any defective parts, and failed to supervise the use of gear.

Isaiah Johnson, another CDA student, died last September during a dive in Ginnie Springs. His family also filed a lawsuit against the school, alleging negligence.

"My son should be here. He should be here but he's not. I want everyone that had anything to so with it to be held accountable," said Johnson's mom Kimberly Cobb during a news conference in May.

Credit: Natalie Jackson Law P.A.
Isaiah Johnson, 21, was with a group celebrating their underwater welding certifications when he drowned in September 2021.

Newsum says he would not allow his own children to attend CDA and has severed ties with the school.

The lawsuits filed by the families of Martins and Johnson seek damages in excess of $30,000. 

First Coast News reached out to CDA multiple time looking for comment. But, we have not heard back. 

RELATED: Two deaths of diving students at Jacksonville technical school prompts audit by facility's trade association, board of directors

RELATED: Family of 21-year-old Isaiah Johnson suing Jacksonville diving school for negligence after his death

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