Most resorts and hotels have pools, as do amusement parks and many private residences. While pools can provide a great way to enjoy a summer afternoon and to cool off from the heat, our Florida swimming pool accident attorneys know that swimming pools can also be very dangerous, especially for children.
Unfortunately, a recent tragic accident at a Disney resort served as an important reminder of how devastating the consequences of a swimming pool accident can be. As the weather gets warmer and people go on vacation for the summer, everyone nationwide should look upon this tragic Disney accident as a wake-up call to focus on swimming pool safety.
The Drowning Accident
According to CNN, a Missouri family was visiting Disney’s Pop Century Resort this March when the tragic accident happened.
A 13-year-old boy from the family was playing in the swimming pool with several friends. Relatives were watching the boy and his friends jump in and out of the water but there were no lifeguards on duty at the swimming pool. Suddenly, however, the young boy did not surface from the swimming pool.
Although it was only a matter of minutes before someone noticed that he was submerged in the water, help came too late. CPR performed at the accident scene by two volunteer firefighters were not enough to save the boy. He was pulled out of the swimming pool during the Sunday incident, but he subsequently died on the following Tuesday morning.
It is still not clear exactly how or why the young boy drowned in the pool. Also unclear at this time is whether Disney will be liable for the wrongful death that occurred.
Drowning Injuries and Liability
Drowning is something that doesn’t just happen. As a water safety expert interviewed by CNN pointed out, there is always an incident that causes the drowning and the drowning can occur only in situations when someone is under the surface of the water and unable to rise or to call for help.
The process of active drowning starts after the swimmer has been under the water’s surface for between 20 and 30 seconds. Swimmers can be under for around a full minute holding their breath before damage starts to happen, but once the swimmer has been under without oxygen for 90 seconds or longer then there is no guarantee of full recovery even when rescue happens. One four or more minutes have passed, then recovery from the drowning is no longer possible and even a person who has been resuscitated will likely have suffered permanent brain damage.
With a minute of time before permanent damage is done, lifeguards may be able to save lives. However, there was no lifeguard on duty in this case.
While it is true that Disney did have a sign up indicating that swimmers entered the pool at their own risk, such signs do not automatically mean that the resort is not liable when injury occurs to their guests. Pool owners throughout Florida and in other resorts around the country routinely post such signs to try to escape lawsuits if someone gets hurt, but a negligent resort owner or a resort that puts its guests at risk in some way may still be held responsible when injury or death occurs.
If you or someone in your family has been injured or killed in a drowning accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.