Swimming Pool Injury and Drowning Lawsuit Information

Swimming Pool Injury Attorneys

Pool Dronwing Lawsuit Attorney of the Year Award
Pritzker Hageman attorneys were named Minnesota Attorneys of The Year in 2015 for their success on behalf of our client in a school pool drowning case.

Our pool injury attorneys have too often seen the devastation that life-long injuries have on both those who suffer them and on those who love them.  When it comes to pool related accidents, the injuries are often severe and can all to easily lead to death.

Because they tend to be so severe, pool-related injuries can result in a lifetime of medical bills, loss of earning capacity and pain and suffering for the victim and their family. When a pool injury results in a death, not only is there loss of earning capacity and often substantial medical bills that accumulate trying to save their life, but there is also the heavy emotional toll that losing a loved one takes on the family. Our attorneys have won among the largest swimming pool drowning lawsuits in the country.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a swimming pool accident, it is important to talk to an experienced swimming pool accident lawyer immediately to discuss your legal right to compensation. Because evidence can get lost and you have a limited time to file a lawsuit after an injury happens, you should take action quickly.

Contact Pritzker Hageman’s Swimming Pool Injury Lawyers Today

Phone: 1-888-377-8900  |  Text: 612-261-0856

The consultation is free and you never pay anything until we win for you.

Can I sue for a swimming pool drowning injury or wrongful death?

Tariq Miller - Swimming Pool Accident and Drowning Attorney
Pritzker Hageman pool accident attorney Tariq Miller swam competitively at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and keeps up-to-date on new research around pool injury risks

There are many situations in which a pool owner or manufacturer may be liable for pool-related injuries and you would be able to file a pool drowning lawsuit. Generally, these claims fall into two categories: product defect claims and premises liability claims.

Defective product claims

In certain swimming pool accident claims, the cause may be due to a product defect. In these cases, the negligence of the pool owner or operator is not a primary factor in whether you can sue. If a product (in this case the pool or equipment used in and around the pool is the product) is manufactured or installed in a defective way then fault can be legally found even without a finding of negligence. If a swimming pool accident or drowning is due to an error in product design or construction, then the pool manufacturer (or the manufacturer of a component part), wholesaler, retail store that sold the pool to the customer, and assemblers or installers may all be included in the lawsuit. Courts have found the following conditions to be a product defect:

  • Lack of depth markers
  • Lack of warning signs
  • Pool liners that create an optical illusion of depth
  • “Hopper bottom” design
  • Improper barriers around the pool
  • Improper lighting

While this list is not intended to be complete, it is an indication of the type of product defects that have been identified in swimming pools.

Premises liability claims

If a pool-related accident or death occurs on another person’s property, public area or commercial business space (such as a hotel, apartment, water park or school) you may be able to file a “premises liability” lawsuit. To prove a premises liability claim, it must be shown that a pool owner was negligent in their duty and knowingly allowed a danger to exist or failed to warn people using the pool about a danger. While owners are not legally required to warn visitors about obvious dangers, such as wet areas around the pool, they are required to warn visitors about less obvious dangers. Some examples of pool owner negligence that may support a premises liability case include:

  • Failure to warn that the pool was very shallow or about other defects or dangerous conditions
  • Failure to post or display warning signs or cautionary instructions
  • Inadequate warning signs displayed by pool owner
  • Failure to control and supervise pool users with regard to diving
  • Failure to provide safety equipment
  • Improper maintenance, creating dangerous conditions

If it can be proven that the owner was negligent in their duty, the victim may hold them financially responsible for their injuries.

Accidental swimming pool drowning in Minnesota

Few summer activities provide the same level of enjoyment as jumping into a swimming pool. But with enjoyment comes a risk of danger that can go up or down depending on the actions taken by those responsible for maintaining the safety of the pool.

In Minnesota, nearly 40 people die each year from accidental drowning, with many of these incidents occurring in swimming pools. Unfortunately, most swimming pool accidents are caused by negligent property owners who fail to meet safety standards. If the owner’s maintenance practices fall below the proper standards, they may be liable for the victim’s damages. According to the CDC, for each child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

Pool drownings are a nationwide problem

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between 2005-2014, an average of 3,536 people drowned each year in the United States—which is about ten deaths per day. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Unfortunately, these grim statistics only tell part of the story. According to the CDC, for each child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. But where do these accidents occur? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 72 percent of fatal drowning incidents involving children younger than 15 occurred in residential settings, such as the victim’s home, a family or friend’s house, or a neighbor’s residence, with 21 percent of fatal drowning incidents occurring at public swimming pools.

While swimming pools are generally of two types—above-ground or in-ground—industry standards divide pools into three categories: above-ground pools; in-ground public pools; and in-ground residential pools. Each category is subject to its own set of regulations, and associated hazards.

Above-ground pools

These pools are generally the less expensive type, often coming in a “kit” which the homeowner assembles in their backyard. Because they generally do not involve the excavation of dirt, they can usually be set up quickly and inexpensively. There are, however, obvious limitations of depth. A typical above-ground pool will be between 3 and 4 feet deep, which is entirely unsafe for diving. For this reason, industry standards require “no diving” signs on all above-ground pools, which must comply with specific requirements about font size, color and proper words. Additionally, manufacturers of pool liners, pool structures, walls and ladders are required to provide such signs, along with adequate instructions for installation. Typically, these signs are enclosed with the pool “kit” rather than affixed in the factory, so that they may be installed where they will be most visible after installation of the pool and any deck or fencing. In practice, installers and/or consumers often neglect or refuse to post the signs, meaning signage is often not present at the time of the dive.

In-ground pools

These pools are the more expensive pools whose surface is essentially level with the surrounding landscape. They require an extensive amount of excavation and preparation of the hole into which the pool will be placed. The two most common types of in-ground pools are concrete and vinyl liner pools. In a concrete pool, the sides of the pool are lined with concrete after the hole has been excavated and the area contoured to the final dimensions. In vinyl liner pools, a vinyl liner is placed over the excavated hole to contain the water. Vinyl liner pools are particularly common in Minnesota because they adjust well to cold weather and cost less than a concrete liner.

In-ground public pool regulations

In Minnesota, public pools are required to comply with the Minnesota Pool Code (Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4717).  The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and local regulatory agencies are responsible for enforcing the Minnesota Pool Code. Some of the safety requirements of the Minnesota Pool Code include:

  • Pools must be constructed in accordance with appropriate construction standards
  • Pools must be operated and maintained by properly trained personnel
  • Operation and maintenance recordkeeping and reporting is required
  • Lifesaving equipment and signage is required
  • Access to pools must be controlled to prevent unintended access.

In addition, local authorities (such as Hennepin County or the City of Minneapolis) have further requirements for pool construction, inspection and operation, which pool operators must follow.

In-ground residential pool regulations

Minnesota, like many other states, imposes far fewer requirements on residential pool owners, despite the fact that nearly three-quarters of all drownings involving children under the age of 15 occurred in residential swimming pools. More often, though, residential pools are regulated by local city or county authorities.

Common swimming pool injuries

While there are many different types of injuries that can occur in a pool environment, some of the most alarming pool-based injuries involving negligence include:

  • Spinal injuries from diving into unexpectedly shallow pools
  • Drowning due to inadequate supervision or improper barriers
  • Entrapment in pool equipment or water circulation returns and drains due to lack of anti-entrapment devices
  • Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) due to faulty or improperly maintained electrical equipment

Contact our experienced swimming pool injury and drowning lawyers today

Call us at 888-377-8900 or contact us online below

We are not paid unless you win. Submitting this form does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Recent News: Swimming Pool Drownings and Injuries

Child Drowns in Hotel Pool at Alexandria Holiday Inn

June 12, 2022 – A six-year-old boy is in critical condition after drowning in the hotel pool at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria, MN. He was pulled from the pool and CPR had started when the police arrived. The boy was transported to Alomere Health Hospital. Sadly, this is not the first time a child has drowned at the Alexandria Holiday Inn. In 2010, a six-year-old girl died after drowning in the hotel’s hot tub.

Boy Drowns in Pool at Groveland Summer Camp

June 11, 2022 – A 12-year-old boy from Newburyport, MA drowned in a swimming pool at a private summer camp in Groveland. When first responders arrived at the scene on Bare Hill Road, the boy had been pulled from the pool and was undergoing CPR. He was transported to Holy Family Hospital before being airlifted to a hospital in Boston for further treatment.

Teen Brothers Drown in Bayonne Swimming Pool with Lifeguard on Duty

June 8, 2022 – Two teenage brothers, Chu Ming Zheng and Jack Jiang, died after drowning in the swimming pool at Lincoln Community School in Bayonne, NJ. A lifeguard was on duty at the time of the incident. When police arrived, they found the brothers unresponsive. They were taken to Bayonne Medical Center, where sadly their deaths were confirmed. One brother was a 16-year-old high school junior and the other a 19-year-old recent graduate. Chu Ming and Jack left behind their loving parents and 11-year-old sister. A friend and neighbor created a Go Fund Me page to support their family.

Child Dies After Drowning in Ogden Golf and Country Club Swimming Pool

June 3, 2022 – A 10-year-old girl died after drowning in the swimming pool at Ogden Golf and Country Club in Utah. When police arrived at the scene on 4197 South Washington Boulevard, witnesses were performing CPR. The child was taken to McKay Dee Hospital, where sadly, her death was confirmed. An investigation is ongoing.

Teen Dies After Drowning in Phoenix Embassy Suites Pool

May 28, 2022 – A teen boy died after drowning in the swimming pool at the Embassy Suites hotel in Phoenix. Thirteen-year-old Darryl Blackmon was traveling from Colorado to Arizona for a football tournament. After his team won a game, they went to the hotel’s pool to celebrate, where Blackmon sadly drowned. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to support Blackmon’s family.

Louisiana Toddler Dies After Drowning at Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi, MS

May 22, 2022 – A two-year-old boy from Louisiana died after drowning in the swimming pool at the Biloxi Margaritaville Resort. The toddler was taken to Merit Hospital, where sadly his death was confirmed. At the time of the drowning, the child and his family, who are from Port Allen, were staying at the Margaritaville Resort. Biloxi police told local news that a lifeguard was on duty at the pool when the drowning happened. Other guests at the pool described the scene as “chaotic.” Security video of the pool area is being reviewed as part of the investigation.

Mother and Daughter Drown at Rodeway Inn Motel in Galveston, TX

May 4, 2022 – 33-year-old Alissa Hunter and her 3-year-old daughter, Kylie Doyle, both drowned in the outdoor pool at the Rodeway Inn at 61st Street and Broadway in Galveston, Texas. Police are investigating. Among other things, they will likely be looking at whether the pool had properly functioning safety barriers and other required safety and warning equipment.

Toddler Dies After Drowning at Apartment Pool in Roswell, GA

April 2, 2022 – A four-year-old boy died after drowning in a pool at an apartment complex in Roswell, GA. Police arrived at Park 83 by Cortland apartments on 100 Calibre Creek Parkway to find four-year-old Matteo Acosta-Diaz unresponsive. A preliminary investigation found that the incident happened during a family gathering at the clubhouse near the pool.

Two Boys Drown in Swimming Pool at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in East Memphis

January 29, 2022 – Two children drowned while attending a birthday party at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in East Memphis. A six-year-old boy was transported to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital with serious injuries. Sadly, first responders discovered the body of a seven-year-old boy at the bottom of the pool.

North Mankato Boy Dies After Drowning at Spring Lake Park Swim Facility in Minnesota

June 5, 2021 – A nine-year-old boy from North Mankato, Minn. died after drowning at Spring Lake Park Swim Facility. Abdirahman Abdullahi was found unresponsive in the swimming pool shortly before closing time. He was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System Mankato where sadly, his death was confirmed. Abdullahi was a fourth-grader at Hoover Elementary School.

Toddler Drowns in Pool at Best Western Normandy Inn and Suites in Minneapolis

May 20, 2021 – A four-year-old boy was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in critical condition after he drowned in the swimming pool at the Best Western Normandy Inn and Suites in Minneapolis. Sadly, he later died from drowning complications.