It’s the type of situation all the more common during the summer months, but equally as terrifying no matter when it happens. The parents of an 8 year old boy who drowned over the summer in a private residential pool have filed a wrongful death suit against the pool’s owners.
According to the complaint, the young boy and his siblings were invited to swim in the pool where they were attending a baptism celebration with their parents on June 19.
The complaint further states that, “The defendants’ pool was extremely hazy or cloudy due to a chemical” that the homeowners had added to the water, and “As a result, most of the pool, including the bottom area, was not visible to persons looking into the pool.”
According to the lawsuit, the boy’s parents left their son in the care of one of the homeowners for a few minutes, and could not find him when they returned. Following a frantic search, the boy’s body was discovered at the bottom of the pool, and he died several hours later at a local children’s hospital. The lawsuit reportedly seeks compensatory damages exceeding $25,000.
The lawsuit claims that the homeowners were negligent in failing to safely maintain their pool, in telling them that the pool was safe, and in not properly supervising the boy.
Based on the information reported, the allegations that the parents are making in the lawsuit are illustrative of several different legal claims. The incident took place in Ohio, but the principles of negligence hold true for accidents that occur in Washington, D.C., as well. While all of the potential claims here may properly fall within the broader doctrine of negligence, they are distinct from each other.
First of all, the claim that the homeowner’s failed to adequately maintain their pool in a safe manner is related to their duty as landowners to ensure that their property, and therefore anything within those boundaries, is safe for their visitors. While the claim regarding the condition of the pool may seem uncommon, more typical examples include things such as improperly maintained stairs, slippery surfaces, or other conditions that could foreseeably lead to injury or death. Additionally, just by having an accessible pool, homeowners could potentially be liable if children sneak onto their property and become harmed, if the proper safety protections have not been taken.
Additionally, the complaint reportedly states that the homeowners stated that the pool was safe, this statement could provide an additional basis for negligence, either in failing to warn their guests of the potential danger, or in making a statement that they either knew or should reasonbly have known was untrue.
The final claim relates to the level of care the homeowner exercised in failing to watch the young boy who drowned. The applicable standard with which she would be compared is what another parent who was reasonably prudent would have done when asked to watch the boy for a short period of time for his parents. We do not know if the woman merely looked away for a second, or rather assumed that she did not have to watch the boy too closely because of his age. These are the factors that the jury will consider in reaching a determination of culpability.
The personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC has many years of experience in working with individuals and families who have suffered because of the wrongful death of a loved one. Our dedicated attorneys have represented families who have suffered from wrongful deaths caused by car accidents, medical malpractice, hospital negligence and other traumatic events. If you believe that your loved one died because of the wrongful or negligent actions of another, please contact the hardworking wrongful death attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen by calling 1-800-654-1949 or by visiting our website, in order to schedule your initial free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Maryland Public Schools to Conduct Baseline Assessments Aimed at Concussion Identification, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 28,2013
Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against College in Football Player Death Case, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 19, 2013