- April 26, 2022
- Attorney Matt Stoddard
- Premises Liability
Swimming pools are understandably popular amenities, especially in warm states like Georgia. In the absence of solid safety precautions, however, they can also be extremely dangerous.
Nearly 4,000 people die by drowning in the U.S every year, and children are especially vulnerable. Drowning is the top cause of death for children aged 1-4, with residential pools being the most common setting. According to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, most of these drownings happen outside of designated swimming activities, with an adult nearby. Death can be silent and take less than 30 seconds.
Parents are often warned about the dangers of accidental drowning and offered prevention guidance — designating someone to watch the children at all times around bodies of water, insisting upon lifejackets in appropriate situations, starting swimming lessons early, etc. This is all important, potentially lifesaving information. However, among all the parenting advice, it’s important not to forget that landlords have responsibilities too, when it comes to pool safety.
An Upscale Apartment Management Company May Be Liable for a Roswell Child’s Death
At Cortland’s Park 83 apartment complex in Roswell, this horror recently played itself out in textbook fashion.
On the first weekend of April, several families held a gathering in a clubhouse in the complex’s common area. At some point in the evening, a 4-year-old boy went missing from the gathering. His family searched and found him unresponsive in the pool. Emergency responders performed CPR and rushed the boy to a hospital, but he did not recover. Police believe his death to be an accidental drowning.
As is so often the case after this sort of tragedy, authorities and news outlets have been emphasizing pool safety for parents. What few people are acknowledging is that residential pools are supposed to be equipped with safety fencing and self-closing gates for this exact reason.
Images of Park 83 from Google Maps show that there is a fence around the pool, however, it encircles quite a large area beyond the pool itself. It’s not clear whether there was any barrier at all between the pool and the clubhouse the families were using, which police have described as “adjacent to the pool area.” Even more troublingly, one of these images appears to show the gate standing open on its own, which would be a definitive code violation.
Timely Wrongful Death Lawsuits Have Better Chances of Succeeding
The period immediately following the wrongful death of a loved one, especially the death of a child, is overwhelming beyond measure. The instinct is often to withdraw, especially from the many sudden emotional demands on your time and energy. Few survivors are looking for additional tasks to add to their plates.
As inconvenient or hopeless as it may seem at the time, however, pursuing an appropriate wrongful death lawsuit has great benefits in the long run, emotionally as well as practically. A fair settlement can cover your loved one’s final expenses and give you the flexibility you need to heal and make adjustments in your life. It also allows you to feel secure in the knowledge that you did your part for justice. Accident survivors who enforce their rights help take the profit out of skimping on safety, forcing property management companies to do better.
The sooner you begin working with a lawyer, the more evidence will remain intact for them to use, and the better your chances of success.
If you are the guardian of the child who drowned at Park 83, or if you have also lost a loved one to unsafe premises in the Atlanta area, give us a call to learn how we can help.