Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Boy's drowning the basis for wrongful death lawsuit

Wrongful death lawsuits can be particularly heart wrenching, and, unfortunately, many such cases will be dismissed. This recently occurred in a Pennsylvania courthouse when the mother of a deceased boy brought such an action against a multifamily management group after her 3-year old boy drowned at an apartment swimming pool.

The mother of the boy alleged that the young boy wandered into a swimming pool area that did not have a lifeguard on duty. The mother claimed that her boy was then pushed into the pool, did not know how to swim, and was left with no one there to rescue him.

The mother's lawsuit was dismissed following the defendant's summary judgment motion because no case of negligence against the named defendant management group was specified. And with the dismissal by summary judgment, any claim for punitive damages was also waived.

Apparently, apartment buildings are not required to have lifeguards on duty under a specific Pennsylvania statute. Also, the mother's complaint did not specifically show that there was any connection between the overcrowding of the pool and the drowning of the young boy. Also, claims regarding a defective gate lock were also dismissed by the judge.

The above case seems to have been specifically decided based upon particular facts of the case, and without knowing those facts it's difficult to know how the outcome of the case could have been different.

However, there is a particular legal protocol that takes place in establishing negligence in wrongful death actions. Meeting all of the requirements often requires the services of a personal injury attorney that thoroughly understands negligence law.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Defense granted summary judgment in swimming pool drowning death case," by Jon Campisi, Jan. 30, 2013

  • Learn more about the complexities of wrongful death lawsuits at our Pittsburgh lawyers' website.

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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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