Pool season has begun in San Antonio. The pool season should be a time of care-free fun for children on summer break. However, there will be numerous pool tragedies involving drowning in Texas during this summer. The causes of the drowning will vary from, no fencing, no supervision, slippery surfaces, and incorrect pool design.
Negligent pool design resulted in the death of a six year old in Connecticut. The company’s president that installed the pool was prosecuted in the death. The pool design did not incorporate a safety device to prevent entrapment. Entrapment is when the powerful suction from the pool drain lines trap a swimmer underwater. Federal law requires that all commercial pools have a safety device to prevent entrapment. The federal statute does not apply to residential pools. There have been numerous deaths caused by entrapment in both spas and pools. The suction can be so great that numerous adults working together cannot free someone caught against a pool drain.
In serious injury and death cases occurring in or around a pool or spa it is necessary to thoroughly investigate the cause and not necessarily attribute the injury to swimmer or diver error. Many diving accidents are often attributed to swimmer error while in reality it is a poor pool design or poor diving board placement that caused the accident. If a child drowns in a pool that is gated it is often thought the owner did all that they could to prevent the tragedy; however; was the gate maintained, was the lock maintained, also was the automatic closure device working properly.
Most if not all pool drowning tragedies can be prevented. It is the responsibility of the lawyer representing the injured party and his family to determine what could have been done to prevent the tragedy.