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Homeowner’s may be Liable for Pool Drowning

Memorial Day signals the official beginning of summer for many Americans, time to plan picnics and take the cover off the swimming pool. The month of May is National Water Safety Month, a good time to complete annual pool maintenance and to remind children of important pool safety rules.

Visitors to Florida often assume that every home has a private pool, and while this isn’t quite true, there are more than 1 million permanent in-ground home pools according to a 2006 FSU Residential Swimming Pool Survey. Pools are a popular place to be in hot weather, providing fun and healthy exercise for adults and children alike, but that fun comes at a high cost. Drowning is the 6th highest cause of death for all ages in Florida, but that ranking rises for younger children. Drowning in a home pool is responsible for more deaths among 1-4 year olds than any other cause. According to the Centers for Disease Control, two of the ten people who drown each and every day are children aged 14 or younger.

Basic Safety Tips

Basic safety tips can keep children and adults (including frail elderly) safe around the pool. Adequate and unrelenting supervision is the most important rule. Recently in the Tampa Bay area, two young children nearly drowned when their caregivers left the children unattended. It only takes a few seconds for a person to drown, so children should never be left alone with access to a pool. If a child does go missing, the first place to look is in the pool. Swimming lessons and floatation devices are also helpful, but should never be a substitute for supervision. Adults who are supervising children in the pool should be properly trained in CPR techniques, avoid alcohol use, and keep a telephone near the pool for an emergency.

Physical barriers are required by law in Florida to prevent access to the pool by children. According to Chapter 515 of the 2013 Florida Statutes, “a residential swimming pool must meet at least one of the following requirements relating to pool safety features: (a) The pool must be isolated from access to a home by an enclosure that meets the pool barrier requirements of s. 515.29; (b) The pool must be equipped with an approved safety pool cover; (c) All doors and windows providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with an exit alarm that has a minimum sound pressure rating of 85 dB A at 10 feet; or (d) All doors providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor.

A homeowner who fails to provide these safety measures may be held negligent in the case of a drowning or near-drowning. In the case of a drowning death, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful-death claim. Near-drowning can cause a disruption of blood flow to the brain, resulting in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and long-term disabilities such as memory loss and learning disabilities. Victims may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

The personal injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are experienced at handling premises liability claims including drowning. If you or someone you love has been injured on someone else’s property, please rely on us to investigate the incident and determine whether the property owner may be held accountable. A free case evaluation with an attorney may be scheduled by calling us at 727-451-6900.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765