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Who’s Responsible in a Swimming Pool Accident?

With warmer weather on the way, many New Yorkers will visit swimming pools to beat the heat. While swimming is an enjoyable recreational activity, it’s not without risks. From drowning and drain injuries to slip-and-fall accidents and diving injuries, a pool presents significant hazards. Who is liable when you’re injured in a swimming pool accident?

Premises liability and pool accidents

As always, the individual circumstances of a case determines who can be held accountable for swimming pool accidents. Pool accidents are often litigated under a theory of premises liability, which is a type of negligence claim. Plaintiffs must prove that the owner or manager of the property had a duty of care to the plaintiff, knew or should have known of a dangerous condition, failed to take appropriate action and as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual harm.

For example, swimming pool drains need to be covered with a grate at all times. If the grate is broken, loose or missing, the owner continues to operate the pool and someone is injured or killed by the drain suction, the property owner could be liable for damages.

Defective equipment

In some cases, defective pool and pool-adjacent equipment (pool fences, fence alarms, drains, diving boards, water slides) could cause injury. In that case—unless the owner knew or should have known about the defective equipment—the equipment manufacturer may be held responsible for resulting injuries or deaths.

Multiple party liability

Sometimes more than one party bears responsibility for an accident. For instance, a property owner who knew or should have known about a pool equipment defect may be held partly responsible, while the equipment manufacturer also bears some fault. Similarly, plaintiffs acting negligently may be deemed partially at fault for the accident.

Because it can be complicated to determine who’s to blame for a swimming pool accident, you’ll need the help of a personal injury attorney. Call the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP to learn more.