Seven-year-old Victor Garcia and his 5-year-old brother, Cristubal, were just trying to get out of the Alabama heat one April evening in 2012. They ventured
down to the gated swimming pool of their apartment complex, gained access to the pool and tragically drowned.
Bright-eyed Abigail Taylor, a lively 6-year-old from Edina, Minnesota was playing in the kiddie pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club with several other children while her father lounged nearby. The cover of the pool’s powerful filtration system had come loose, and Abby sat on the drain. The force of the suction ripped out the girl’s small intestine within seconds. Abby managed to pull herself off the drain and stagger away, but not before she sustained the injury that eventually killed her. After several surgeries, organ transplants, and a cancerous condition caused by a transplant, she passed away nine months after the incident.
In 2010, 2-year-old Christian Cunningham, son of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, toddled into the backyard of their Nevada home and crawled into the family’s hot tub. An adult who was with the star’s three other children found Christian unconscious in the hot tub. He was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
A Serious Threat
According to Safe Kids USA, more than 800 pre-adolescent children die of accidental drowning each year. More than 5,000 children suffer from injuries sustained in near-drowning accidents caused by swimming and diving in pools, lakes and other bodies of water. There need not even be a large amount of water for an injury or death to occur – children have drowned in just a few inches of water.
The death of a child in an area designed for fun, such as a pool, is heartbreaking. The unrealized potential of a young life is irreplaceable. When a child is lucky enough to survive a near drowning, he or she may sustain irreversible damage that requires long-term care. Victims may suffer broken bones or spinal cord and brain injuries that can have permanently life-altering consequences.
Determining who is at fault in a pool injury or death can be very difficult and often requires the skill and knowledge of an experience personal injury attorney. In some cases, the incident is a devastating accident; in other cases, negligence or malice by a person or entity is to blame. Often what seems like an accident is actually a result of negligence by the pool owner or manager, such as when pool drain covers fail, premises are slippery or dangerous, or pool gates are not in working order. Either way, the heartache and horror can result in mental, physical and emotional stress for the victim and the family.
Not all cases of death or injury can be brought to justice. However, in cases of negligence or willful oversight, the parties who contributed to the tragedy can and should be held accountable. Contact our caring and experienced attorneys for help deciding how to proceed in your case. Wrongful death suits can help the family recover monetary damages for their loss, pain and suffering. While only time can help with the excruciating grief, victims have hope in bringing the responsible parties to justice. Remember, the law limits the time available for victims to file suit, so it is important you take action in your case now.