Tragedy in Your Own Backyard

We all enjoy spending a quiet afternoon soaking up the sun next to a refreshing swimming pool, but when the proper precautions aren’t taken, this beautiful scene can turn deadly. Swimming pool accidents can result in serious, often life-threatening injury, and even death. Owners of swimming pools are required to take adequate safety measures to avoid liability for pool-related injury or death. Swimming pools are considered an “attractive nuisance” given that they are both enticing to children and potentially dangerous. In Georgia, homeowners with swimming pools must erect a fence around the pool to restrict children’s access to the pool. If a swimming pool fence is not reasonable, or if it has a defect such as a gap or dysfunctional gate lock, a victim or surviving relatives may be able to recover from a homeowner for the drowning of a child who ventures onto the homeowner’s property. Owners of private and public pools may be held liable for drowning injuries if adequate supervision or equipment is not provided. The jury in such drowning cases will decide if the lack of supervision or lack of proper equipment was the responsibility of the owner. In addition, a victim or surviving family of the victim may be able to seek recovery from a manufacturer if faulty pool equipment caused the accident. Private pool owners may also have a duty to warn divers of potential perils such as a shallow depth when swimmers are not familiar with the pool. Under the Recreational Property Act, a private pool owner who does not charge visitors for the recreational use of the pool typically will have no liability for the injuries of swimmers, as the legal status of invitee or licensee is not extended to persons who utilize the pool. Being a cautious swimmer is important to ensuring the safety of you and your family.