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Pool Drownings – A Tragedy, But Who is Responsible?

July 13, 2020
Colson Hicks Eidson

Pools can be incredibly fun for adults and children, so long as proper safety measures are adhered to. Unfortunately, there are times when tragedy strikes and drownings occur in pools or hot tubs. This is something that residents throughout Florida and other tourist destinations are familiar with. In many cases, pool drownings are nobody’s fault. However, there are times when property owners or employees of an establishment may share blame for a drowning. At Colson Hicks Eidson, our premises liability attorneys want to discuss pool safety, particularly concerning children.

Drowning are increasing in Florida

According to a report from ABC Action News out of Tampa Bay, drowning deaths in Florida have increased 70% this year (2020) when compared to the same timeframe last year. The group Water Smart Totshas said that drowning is the leading cause of death for children between the age of 1 and 4.

Florida Health says that our state has the highest unintentional drowning rate for children ages 1 to 4 and the second highest drowning rate in the country for children aged 1 to 14.

In many cases, drowning cases are accidents. Water Smart Tots released a statement that says, “Toddlers are experts at momentarily escaping adult supervision only to be found unresponsive in pool, lake, canal, bathtub, etc.”

However, there are times when the negligence of property owners contributes to drowning incidents. This can include owners of commercial properties where there is a pool present as well as private residence owners that have a pool located in their yard. Regardless of the situation, a pool should have a fence around it with a locking gate that keeps children from getting close to the water.

Under Florida’s attractive nuisance laws, property owners can be held responsible for injuries to children who are tempted to trespass on the property because there is an object that attracted them there. A pool is certainly going to draw the attention of the child. Property owners can be held liable even if, under normal circumstances, the child would have been considered a trespasser on the premises.

Hotel owners and operators could be held liable for drowning if they fail to take steps necessary to prevent the access of the child to their pool areas. If a child drowns in a hotel pool because the owners are operators of the property failed to properly maintain the premises, they could be held liable for the incident, even if there are signs present warning of potential dangers.

We are ready to help you today

If somebody you love has drowned or experienced a near-drowning in a pool, and you believe the incident was caused by the negligence of a property owner or another party, the team at Colson Hicks Eidson is ready to help. Our nationally recognized premises liability attorneys have the resources necessary to obtain the compensation you may be entitled to. This could include any wrongful death benefits. When you need a pool drowning attorney in Florida or throughout the US, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at 305-476-7400.