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

Safety must be the most important issue for pool owners

A few weeks back, our blog discussed the dangers posed by pool drains, which generate a very powerful suction that can trap both children and adults alike to the bottom of the pool.

It's important to note, however, that drains aren't the only significant dangers associated with pools, and that drowning deaths can be caused by everything from the failure to post a proper warning sign to the lack of proper enclosures.

If you are tempted to dismiss the dangers posed by swimming pools, consider some of the rather disturbing figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Roughly ten people die as a result of unintentional drowning every day here in the United States, with at least two of the ten being children age 14 or younger 
  • Drowning is currently the fifth leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States

All this, of course, begs the question of what steps a private pool owner must take to prevent any tragedies.

In general, the law mandates that private pool owners are required to exercise reasonable care in securing the safety of their pool. What exactly does this mean? Firstly, pool owners are required to act in compliance with all state laws and local ordinances governing swimming pools. For example, if a local ordinance mandates inspections, then it would be the pool owner's responsibility to ensure this happens.

Secondly, the pool owner must generally take steps to remedy those potential dangers about which they know or should have known. For example, if there is a hole in the fence around the swimming pool that children could potentially squeeze through, the pool owners is responsible for fixing this issue. Similarly, if the pool owners know that children have discovered the security code to access their pool area, they will need to take steps to reset the code.

(It is worth noting that community pools are typically subject to an entirely different set of standards and expectations given they are designed for public use.)

Above all else, if someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a swimming pool accident here in the Pittsburgh area, and you believe this was due to the negligence of a pool owner, consider speaking with an experienced attorney to learn more about the law and your options.

Source: KNXV-TV, "Swimming accident law: The basics," Shane Fischer, August 13, 2013  

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Toll Free: 866-466-5789
Phone: 412-567-1232
Fax: 412-391-7453
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