Swimming pools are a great way to bring friends and family together on those hot summer days. However, those who have swimming pools on their property assume a good deal of responsibility to avoid accidental drownings. Indeed, Maryland swimming pool deaths account for nearly 400 fatalities each year and represent about 20% of all drowning deaths in the state.
Those who have swimming pools on their property must take adequate precautions to ensure that those who use the pool are safe. Largely, local regulations govern which precautions are necessary. A recent personal injury case illustrates the difficulties one wrongful death plaintiff had when attempting to establish liability on the part of a condo association that operated the pool where his son drowned.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff’s son was swimming at a swimming pool located in a condominium complex where his aunt lived. At the time, the boy’s aunt was not present, but he was with other family members. The group used the aunt’s key card to gain access to the pool and did not seek approval from the condo association to use the pool.
The pool was very crowded that day, and somehow the boy ended up underwater. He was not discovered until about five minutes later, and by that time he was unconscious. The boy’s mother and a nurse who happened to be present unsuccessfully attempted CPR, and someone called 911. However, due in some part to confusion about the pool’s address, emergency crews did not arrive for 20 minutes. By the time the emergency personnel reached the young boy, he had died.
The boy’s father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the condo association, claiming that the association’s negligence in safely operating the pool resulted in his son’s death. Specifically, the plaintiff pointed to three things:
- There was no lifeguard on duty;
- The pool did not have a rope line delineating the shallow end from the deep end; and
- The address of the complex was not visible to pool users.
The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument and dismissed the case against the association. The court explained that the condo complex complied with all local rules by placing signs explaining that there was no lifeguard on duty and making the complex’s address visible from the street. The court also explained that, under local regulations, the pool did not need to have a floating rope line because the pool’s depth started at one inch and consistently got deeper at a steady rate. As a result, the plaintiff’s case was insufficient as a matter of law.
Are You in Need of a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you have recently lost a child in a Maryland swimming pool accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. As noted above, pool owners have a responsibility to those whom they allow to use their pool. If a pool owner was negligent in the operation of their pool, they may be liable to you for your injuries or loss. The Maryland premises liability attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience handling wrongful death claims, including those arising from Maryland swimming pool accidents. Call the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Personal Injury Cases Based on Maryland Sports Injuries, Maryland Accident Law Blog, August 1, 2017.
Plaintiff’s Failure to Comply with Pre-Lawsuit Notice Results in Dismissal of Case, Maryland Accident Law Blog, September 1, 2017.