New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Swimming Pool Accidents And Personal Injury Lawsuits

Posted on Mar 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

According to reports from the National Safety Council, more than 7,000 drowning deaths occur each year in the United States. Drowning accidents are the leading cause of death and injury among children under 5.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the second-leading cause of injury-related deaths among children under 15 years of age is drowning.

Over 80% of drownings, happen in residential pools and spas. 5,000 children under 14 are rushed to hospitals for near drowning events each year – of these cases, nearly 20% of them suffer severe and permanent disabilities.

Knoebels Sued for Drowning Death of Boy

The parents and estate of an 8-year-old boy from Lebanon who drowned in the swimming pool of Knoebels Amusement Park have filed a wrongful death suit against the park.

As per the suit filed in Northumberland County court, Mohamad and Fadma Boudriss contended that staff at the park were not prepared and took long to respond after Yassin, their son’s body was found floating in just 3 feet of water.

According to the suit, an individual who performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the boy three times asked for an automated external defibrillator but it was not provided.

Yassin Boudriss was transported to Geisinger Medical Center where at 4:16 pm on July 26th, 2016, he was pronounced dead – this was the day of the incident.

The cause of death was ruled drowning with autism as a contributing factor by Scott Lynn, Montour County Coroner. Lynn stated that he suspected that a factor in the death could be a medical issue as the boy did not show any signs of distress. He also said that Yassin could have stood up in the 3 feet of water in the Crystal Pool’s shallow end where he was found.

The lawsuit filed by the boy’s parents focuses on lifeguards contending that they were not properly trained, supervised or competent, they did not observe the pool’s patrons properly and did not assist properly in the attempt to resuscitate the boy. But did they know about this boy’s condition? How come the parents were not paying attention to their child?

Mohamad and Fadma Boudriss and the boy’s estate sought unspecified damages in excess of $50,000 on wrongful death, loss of consortium, and negligent infliction of emotional distress claims.

Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents

Summer will be here soon and everyone will be heading to swimming pools to cool off and have fun in the water. However, water and concrete in close proximity to each other makes swimming pools, natural places for accidents to occur. The sad truth is that swimming pool accidents are all too common and in some cases, innocent lives are lost.

People who own and operate swimming pools have the responsibility of keeping the area around the pools safe and for making sure that swimmers are aware of any potential dangers in the area. Some of the common causes of swimming pool accidents are:

  • Lack of Proper Barriers: To make sure that there is a proper barrier around a swimming pool, a four-sided isolation fence should be installed by owners or operators. Having proper barriers around a can prevent drowning, especially among children. It is important to protect people, children in particular, from the dangers of water. An easy way to prevent accidents from occurring in or around a swimming pool is to install proper barriers, but unfortunately, they are often overlooked.
  • Lack of Proper Supervision: The laws require public swimming pools to have a lifeguard on duty. But owners must notify users if there is no lifeguard on duty by posting signs. If a lifeguard is negligent in his or her duties or a sign is not posted, the owner of the swimming pool may be liable for the swimmers’ injuries.
  • Lack of Anti-Entrapment Devices: The drains of swimming pools present potentially life-threatening situations for people, young children in particular. Federal law requires swimming pool owners to install an anti-entrapment device to keep swimmers’ limbs, hair, or clothing from being caught in the drainage system. If these devices are not installed in swimming pools, it could result in the occurrence of fatal or nearly fatal injuries.
  • Excessively Slippery or Uneven Decks: There are many dangers in the areas surrounding swimming pools. Swimming pool decks that are made of concrete can become extremely slippery, causing people to slip and fall. It is the responsibility of swimming pool owners to make sure that proper precautions are taken to make sure that there are no slippery or uneven decks around pool areas to cause slip and fall accidents.

Lawsuit Alleged that Lifeguards Took 5 Minutes to Pull Submerged Swimmer

The family of a 61-year-old man who experienced heart pain while he swam laps at the YMCA has filed a lawsuit against the organization, alleging that the man was ignored for over 5 minutes by lifeguards while he was submerged underwater.

According to a June 8th complaint filed in Cook County, Yosef Bornstein was swimming laps at the Leaning Tower YMCA’s indoor swimming pool in Niles, Illinois, when he suffered heart pain and became submerged in the water. The lawsuit alleged that Bornstein was submerged underwater for over 5 minutes in full view of the lifeguards.

The lawsuit alleged that the Chicago Metropolitan YMCA was negligent because there was a failure on the lifeguards’ part to observe the man underwater and to provide immediate assistance to a distressed person in the water.

According to the lawsuit, it is also alleged that there was failure on the YMCA’s part to maintain lifeguard stations that provided clear, unobstructed views of the swimming pool and that the lifeguards did not pull Bornstein from the water when they knew, or should have known, that he was distressed while underwater.

According to a release from Timothy Cavanagh, the family’s attorney, the indoor pool was manned by two lifeguards during the time of the incident. The release also stated that Bornstein was a long-time member of the YMCA and was a regular swimmer there. According to the lawsuit, he was hospitalized with brain injuries that he sustained in the incident.

The lawsuit filed by Bornstein’s family sought damages in excess of the jurisdictional limit, in addition to costs.

Bornstein’s attorneys filed an emergency motion on June 12th to protect all materials that were related to the incident, including incident reports, witness statements, surveillance video, lifeguard training manuals, and cell phone and employee files for the lifeguards, regardless of whether they were on or off duty.

According to the release, surveillance video from the YMCA showed Bornstein standing chest-deep in water before going underwater. After he had been submerged for a while, another swimmer attempted to help him. When the swimmer discovered Bornstein, he was unconscious at the bottom of the pool.

The surveillance video then showed a lifeguard jumping into the swimming pool and pulling Bornstein out of the pool, after which he was given CPR on the side of the pool.

In the release, Cavanagh said that with the summer swimming season coming, it was imperative to make sure that lifeguards are given proper training, that they are well supervised and that they perform their jobs. He said that because of negligence, a very large number of such preventable accidents occur.

In a statement, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago said that the lifeguards who were present at the time of the incident were put on administrative leave immediately and that the organization was conducting a disciplinary review.

The YMCA also said that its policies and procedures, including training for lifeguards, are continually reviewed for best practices.

Premises Liability for Swimming Pool Accidents

If a person is injured in a swimming pool accident, the owner of the property may be liable for the injuries. A large number of swimming pool accidents are caused by the negligence of the swimming pool or property owner, and they can be held accountable for injuries sustained in an accident that occurs on their property.

To hold the swimming pool owner liable for the injuries, you are required to show that the owner had a duty of care and that they breached that duty of care, and that breach caused your injuries.

In many states, property or swimming pool owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are maintained in reasonably safe conditions and to make sure that they warn people of any dangers that they know of, or should know.

If that duty is not upheld by the swimming pool owner and it results in injuries to someone, they may be accountable for the resulting harm. For example, if a hotel guest is injured in the hotel’s swimming pool area because there were no lifeguards on duty, the hotel may be liable if it did not warn guests that there were no lifeguards on duty at that time.

Residential swimming pool owners may be negligent if they violate the safety rules of the state. In some states, there are laws that require owners of residential properties to ensure the protection of all children and frail adults on the property by equipping swimming pools, spas and hot tubs with at least one safety feature, such as a pool cover or barrier.

A property owner who violates the law in these states may be liable under a theory of negligence per se, meaning that you only need to show that your injuries were caused by the carelessness of the property owner. It is necessary for you to prove that the owner of the property had a duty and breached that duty.

Liability When Trespassers are Injured in a Swimming Pool

Property owners who have a swimming pool may be liable if trespassing children are injured in the pool – they will not be liable if the trespassers are adults. The owner of a property is liable if a trespassing child sustains an injury in a swimming pool accident if:

  • The pool is located in an area where the owner should have known that children were likely to be
  • The child was too young to know that the pool was dangerous
  • The property owner should have known that children were at risk when playing in or near the pool

Damages for Swimming Pool Accidents

You may seek compensation for injuries that you sustained in a swimming pool accident. The potential damages you can recover include medical expenses, pain and suffering and loss of income.

You can also sue for wrongful death if one of your family members dies in a swimming pool accident caused by the owner or operator’s negligence. You can obtain compensation for your relative’s medical and funeral costs, loss of consortium and more.

Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations in each state for filing a personal injury lawsuit – this means that there is a time limit within which you must file a suit. If you do not file within that time period, your case will be dismissed. You should consult a personal injury lawyer with experience in handling swimming pool accident cases and find out the statute of limitations in your state.

You should also bear in mind that although your case may seem simple and you think that you can handle it yourself, it is best to hire an attorney to assist you. There are certain rules and procedures that you need to follow and having an attorney will ensure that you do not make any mistakes and lose any compensation you may be entitled to.

RMFW Law needs to be Called for any Swimming Pool Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident resulting from the owner’s negligence, you should immediately seek the help of a fantastic and accomplished personal injury lawyer at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff, of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280 to review your case. You can get a free consultation where the attorney will review your case and determine if it is a viable one.

If it is, your attorney will help you begin the steps to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent property owner or swimming pool operator and make sure that your rights are protected. You can obtain fair compensation for the damages resulting from the swimming pool accident as you are entitled to by law.

We know this part of the law. We have won millions of dollars for past clients because we know the weaknesses in the other sides’ cases and we know what a winning case looks like.

You pay us nothing up front and we only win if you win. If your case is viable, you want RMFW Law on your side. Call us now! This is what we do!

If someone was neglectful and you or a loved one of yours has suffered they should pay. It is their ethical duty to pay and call us to make sure this is handled right.

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