Defectively Designed and Maintained Pools
Swimming pools are part of life in Florida, but they can also be incredibly dangerous – particularly if they are defectively designed or negligently maintained.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, work with victims harmed by pools that are designed or manufactured in a way that is defective or that receive poor maintenance. Our Fort Myers injury lawyers know it may be possible in these cases to obtain compensation from:
- The manufacturer of the defective pool/ equipment;
- The distributor of the defective pool/ equipment;
- The homeowner/ property owner of the pool;
- The repair company in charge of performing repairs on the pool or equipment.
It is important early on to ascertain the type of claim and then identify all possible defendants to maximize compensation. That involves first carefully analyzing the details of the pool structure, any maintenance records and a careful analysis of the facts of the accident and injury.
Having a detailed knowledge and understanding of these types of incidents and the responsibilities owed by pool manufacturers, pool owners and pool repair companies is critical to achieving the best possible settlement for victims of pool-related accidents.Pool Manufacturing and Design Defects
Those who design and construct pools must conform to certain safety standards.
Some of those, as noted by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, include:
Pools must be constructed of concrete or other impervious and structurally rigid material;
All public pools must be surrounded by a minimum 48-inche high fence or other approved substantial barrier, which shall be continuous around the perimeter of the pool area not otherwise blocked or obstructed by adjacent buildings or structures;
Underwater lighting shall utilize transformers and low-voltage circuits with each underwater light being grounded, with a maximum voltage of 15 volts for each light;
Pool heaters must comply with nationally-recognized standards acceptable to the design engineer, having a fixed thermometer mounted in the pool;
Wading pools can only have a maximum depth of 2 feet, with the depth of the perimeter not to exceed 12 inches.
Other pool construction regulations are found in other provisions of statute, including the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, a federal statute that requires all polls and spas must have installed a drain cover compliant with the 2007 ASME A112.19.8 standard. This law, passed in 2008, was passed specifically to enhance protections against pool and spa suction entrapment.
Some common swimming pool defects may include:
Drain and pump defects. Pumps that are inadequately covered or prone to malfunction may pose a risk of suction entrapment. The swimmer gets stuck because of the force of the drain suction or might get their hair caught in a drain, risking serious injury or drowning.
Diving board, ladder and slide defects. Diving boards are sometimes installed in pools that are too shallow to accommodate them, which results in a risk of broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries and drowning.
Pool filter defects. There have been cases wherein pool filters have been known to explode because of compressed air filters. Explosions can cause shrapnel to be launched for several dozen feet, causing serious injury.
Defective pool lights/ wiring/ pumps. Pools may pose an electrocution hazard when they are improperly wired or with high voltage lights. Lights and pumps both pose electrocution hazards.
Construction companies, contractors, distributors, pool equipment manufacturers and homeowners may be liable for construction and design defects.Negligent Pool Maintenance
Negligent maintenance of pools can occur on several fronts, and there may be numerous defendants, depending on the individual circumstances of the case.
All property owners have a basic duty of care to visitors to use reasonable care, and that includes basic pool maintenance. It doesn’t mean they are required to anticipate and prevent every accident or injury, but it does mean their actions – or inaction – will be weighed against what is deemed reasonable, or action that a prudent person would have taken in the same or similar circumstances.
There are many elements of pool maintenance that are required to ensure it is a safe environment. Mechanical parts, like pumps, filters, drains and chlorinators, need to be fully operational while the pool or spa is being used. Faulty or missing drain covers need to be replaced or repaired. Same with slippery or rigid brittle diving boards, broken or rusty ladders, defective fencing, or burned out underwater lights.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defectively designed or negligently maintained pool, our experienced injury lawyers in Fort Myers can help you explore your legal options.
1-800-283-2900 – Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner – Focused on Justice