Swimming Facilities Are Responsible for Keeping Customers Safe

Taking a swim is a great way to stay cool and keep in shape in the summer, but it’s easy to become wary of this pastime amid the many reports of fatal drowning. Here in Atlanta, the last few years have been especially rough on that front.

In 2014, a 4-year-old girl drowned during a pool party at the Ansley Golf Club. A lifeguard was on duty, but apparently didn’t notice when the girl fell in.

Just two years later, a 10-year-old boy drowned in the pool of the Westin Peachtree Plaza, at a birthday party for his friend. His death was made all the more sad and frustrating by the lack of information on how it happened. The Plaza’s representatives and the party’s chaperones were unable to answer the parents’ questions after the boy was pulled from the water by a separate group of guests at the hotel.

Unfortunately, these media-covered drowning cases are not isolated occurrences. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that about ten people die from accidental drowning every day in the U.S., and 20% of them are under the age of 14.

Atlanta Injury Lawyer

If you’re dealing with an injury or you have lost someone at a swimming facility, let The Stoddard Firm help you hold the property owner or someone else accountable. We offer free consultations for new clients. Give us a call at 470-467-2200 to set up a meeting today.

Safety Features Are Required by Law

In Georgia, public pool managers are explicitly responsible for supervision and safety. Apart from this general responsibility, they’re also required to ensure the pool facilities are equipped with specific safety features, including:

  • Handholds no more than a foot above the waterline
  • A rope and float line
  • Depth markers
  • An emergency shutoff switch for the circulation system
  • Current CPR/first aid/lifeguard certification for any lifeguards provided
  • A lifesaving pole
  • A landline telephone
  • Barriers to prevent entry while the pool is closed
  • A drinking fountain
  • A rinse shower
  • Signs alerting swimmers to rules, potential hazards, whether or not a lifeguard is present, and whether or not the depth is safe for diving.

Remember, lifeguards are recommended but not required, and designated chaperones also carry responsibility for any children brought into a pool area.

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For top-quality representation in injury cases, you can rely on The Stoddard Firm every time.

How To Prevent Accidental Drowning

Tips to Stay Safe

The Red Cross and Reviews.com offer many tips on staying safe in the water in a variety of situations. Here are some good points to remember when you’re enjoying water activities:

  • Read and obey all posted rules.
  • Designate someone to supervise children at all times.
  • Enforce “no diving” rules in any water less than nine feet deep.
  • Know what safety equipment is available and how to use it.
  • Do not play with safety equipment.
  • Take rest breaks.
  • Do not swim in a pool that is overly crowded or with swimmers who are not following the rules.
  • Do not bring any glass or breakable objects onto the pool deck.
  • Check that the pool area is clean, well-maintained, and free of obvious hazards. The drain should be clearly visible under the deepest section of water.
  • Check that fences are in good repair and that gates are self-closing and self-latching to prevent children from entering unsupervised.

Preparation and knowledge can literally save lives, but sometimes there are factors you can’t foresee as a guest at a public pool. If you or a loved one has already been involved in a pool accident, reach out to The Stoddard Firm for a free consultation on your next steps.

Who’s Liable After a Pool Injury or Accidental Drowning?

After an injury or drowning at a pool facility, the victim or their family can potentially seek compensation for their losses and pain from one or more parties. Depending on the circumstances, the following are a few of the parties that may be held liable for an injury or drowning at a pool facility.

Facility Owners

Owners of pool facilities can be held liable for accidents on their properties when they fail to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. Owners must ensure that all safety equipment and measures are in place, such as depth markers and handholds. They must also make sure that required safety personnel, such as lifeguards, are present.

Event Hosts

Many swimming pool facilities can be rented out for events. Event hosts have a duty of care toward event attendees and must ensure that all required safety measures and personnel are present and ready to serve guests. Sady, some hosts fail to fulfill their duty of safety out of ignorance of safety protocols or to save money.

Lifeguard and Lifeguard Services

Lifeguards and lifeguard services protect swimmers from drowning or getting hurt in the water. While on duty, these safety professionals must be alert and remain free of intoxicating substances. When negligent, they can be held liable for injuries and drownings. Types of lifeguard negligence include:

  • On-the-job intoxication
  • Failure to pay attention
  • Drowsiness
  • Inadequate or no training.

If the lifeguard is an employee of a lifeguard service, the company may also potentially be held liable vicariously or for its own acts of negligence, including negligent hiring and improper supervision.


Pool maintenance companies and their employees must execute their duties in a reasonably safe manner and according to acceptable standards of care. Sadly, improperly installed equipment and neglected maintenance can lead to serious injuries and drownings.

Other parties that can potentially be held liable for compensating victims of pool accidents include other swimmers behaving negligently or recklessly and product makers. Regarding the latter, dangerously defective products can cause drowning or another pool injury in some cases. For example, a defective life jacket or a defective drain cover can be deadly.

Holding Parties Liable for Damages

Justice for Victims

If you or someone you care about has been injured or has drowned at a pool facility, you may be entitled to seek substantial compensation. Economic and non-economic damages are available in these cases, so don’t hesitate to call an experienced injury attorney for help.

Atlanta Injury Lawyer

Learn how The Stoddard Firm can potentially recover the funds that will help you address your losses. Call 470-467-2200 for a free consultation today.

Attorney Matt Stoddard

Atlanta Personal Injury LawyerMatt Stoddard is a professional, hardworking, ethical advocate. He routinely faces some of the nation’s largest companies and some of the world’s largest insurers – opponents who have virtually unlimited resources. In these circumstances, Mr. Stoddard is comfortable. Mr. Stoddard provides his strongest efforts to his clients, and he devotes the firm’s significant financial resources to presenting the strongest case possible on their behalf. Matt understands that his clients must put their trust in him. That trust creates an obligation for Matt to work tirelessly on their behalf, and Matt Stoddard does not take that obligation lightly. [ Attorney Bio ]

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