Failure to equip a new, residential pool with a proscribed safety device may result in a second degree misdemeanor-or worse, a drowning death or lifelong personal injury. Ocala accident attorney explains the legal “deep end” of residential pool liability.
Florida is not only home to beautiful sunny summers, but also ranks first in unintentional drowning deaths for toddlers and third overall in the U.S. from 1999 to 2003.
Statistics show most drowning deaths occur at home in a residential pool-with mom and dad present. Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires all new outdoor residential pools, spas, and hot tubs, constructed on or after October 1, 2000, be equipped with at least one of the following safety features:
1. The pool must be enclosed by a 4-foot barrier, such as a fence, that prevents a child from climbing over or under. (F.S. §515.29(2011));
2. The pool must have an approved pool cover;
3. An exit alarm must be installed on home windows and doors with access to the pool; or
4. All doors with direct pool access must be equipped with an outward-opening, self-closing, self-latching device. (F.S. §515.27(2011))
Failure to equip a new, residential pool with a proscribed safety device may result in a second degree misdemeanor-or worse, a drowning death or lifelong personal injury.
A drowning victim or survivor may have a cause of action for wrongful death, negligent maintenance of a pool, or attractive nuisance. Violation of an ordinance or statute requiring installation of a pool safety measure may constitute negligence per se. However, a parent who fails to supervise their child may not be wholly absolved from liability.
Even though a pool built prior to October 2000 is exempt from regulation under the Act, every pool should be equipped with a safety device. Keep Florida pools in compliance to stay out of the “legal deep end.”
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