Tom J. Griffiths, Ed.D., Aquatic Safety Consultant ::::
Case Synopsis: A large retail store chain along with several other defendants, including the pool manufacturer and a swim-aid swim suit manufacturer, were all sued for a near fatal drowning event of a 2 year old child. The pool in question was extremely small; a true, blow-up kiddy pool holding less than 12 inches of water.
Analysis: The mother of the child placed a “buoyant suit” on the child to keep her afloat, even though the suit, and the packaging which contained it, stated that the suit was not a “life-saving” device or a “life-jacket” and proper parental supervision was still required. Between the shallow water of the swimming pool and the “buoyant” swim suit the child was wearing, the adults in attendance must have become over confident and let their guard down. While in the house, the adults in charge allowed the child to leave the house, unnoticed and unattended. She climbed down the stairs and entered the swimming pool without anyone observing her. After finding her face down in the water, the child remains in a vegetative state.
Result: An undisclosed settlement was reached by the parties involved.
Tom J. Griffiths, Ed.D., Aquatic Safety Consultant with DJS Associates, can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.