Swimming Pools and the Laws of Premises Liability

The adage “strong fences make good neighbors” probably wasn’t meant to apply to avoiding premises liability but in the US this is actually a good thing to remember. Swimming pool injuries and fatalities are unfortunately quite common in the US, and according to the Consumer Produce Safety Commission far too many of these are children below 5 years old.

While children will get hurt if they are not properly supervised, the responsibility for this usually resides in parents, guardians, nannies, or other persons whose job is to look out for a child’s welfare while in their care i.e. teachers. However, the laws which apply to private swimming pools place all the responsibility of ensuring the safety of children on the pool owner, even if the child is there without the knowledge or consent of the owner. An article on the Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® website indicates that the pool owner may be held liable for medical and other expenses that you might incur.

Swimming pools are enticing to children, especially if the pool is well-maintained and the child is bored. This is the “attractive nuisance” theory of premises liability that pertains to small children. There is nothing more tempting than taking an illicit trip to the neighbor’s pool for a little dip. The pool owner has to ensure that their swimming pool has all the necessary safeguards to prevent a small child from wandering into the area and falling (accidentally or otherwise) in. State laws differ, but in general they require a pool owner to have the appropriate enclosure completely surrounding the area to prevent small children from getting in.

If the child is being supervised by a parent (not the pool owner) at the time of the accident, the application of premises liability law will be more complicated. However, if the accident was because the pool was poorly maintained, defective in some way, or the surrounding areas were dangerously slippery, the pool owner may still be held completely liable.

If a child has been injured or killed in a swimming pool accident because the pool owner was somehow negligent, you may file a lawsuit for compensation. Find out more about state laws on premises liability from an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

Keep a Positive Outlook!

happy-brain

Stay happy, fellow minds!

If you’re having trouble with this, here are some thoughts that I use to stay happy a remarkable 98.23% of the time!

If you are not thinking things that are happy, stop thinking those things and think of another thing that is a thing that makes you happy instead. Some of my go-tos are:

  1. Kittens
  2. Puppies
  3. Other kinds of baby animals
  4. Ice Cream
  5. Pizza

With practice, you can turn your negative thoughts into positive, happy ones. I believe in you!

Some Facts about Rollover Accidents

It is common knowledge that sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are more likely to be involved in rollover accidents than any other vehicle, and that this is mostly due to the way the vehicles are designed. What most people are not aware of is that this is based on factual analysis rather than speculation; a report from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) studied the trends extensively before coming to these widely-held conclusions.

SUVs and light trucks are disproportionately represented in the number of fatal rollover accidents, and most of these are untripped or single-vehicle accidents. This means that the vehicle rolled over without colliding with another vehicle, indicating that there is a high risk of rollovers in these vehicle types. This is a significant fact unearthed by the NCSA in their investigation of approximately 30,000 rollover accident fatalities annually. According to the lawyers of Willis Law Firm on their website, a good portion of these fatalities may have been due to a design defect of the vehicle, which could lead to a product liability lawsuit.

The study also showed that many of the drivers in fatal single-vehicle rollover accidents registered blood alcohol content (BAC) levels at or over the legal limit, which may have impacted on the capacity of the driver to successfully control skidding or sharp curves. Police investigations report also that in about 40% of fatal single-vehicle accidents, there was no attempt to avoid a crash, and that 75% of the fatalities were unrestrained by seatbelts at the time of the crash. Most rollover accidents occurred when the vehicle was travelling in excess of 55 miles an hour.

The study confirms that SUVs and light trucks significantly increase the likelihood of a rollover, but that statistically this could be attributed to the growing popularity and increased number of these types of vehicles on the road. Nevertheless, it would be reasonable to assume that if you are traveling in an SUV, you should observe the speed limit, navigate curves carefully, and wear a seatbelt. And that’s a fact.

Workplace Illnesses – Results of Exposure to Hazardous Substances

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit is meant to provide immediate financial assistance to workers who sustain work-related injuries or develop illnesses due to work. One of the stipulations of the benefit, however, is freedom of the employer from any litigation that will further require him/her from paying extra amount for the damages suffered by the employee. This freedom, though, can be bypassed if it can be proven that the employer does not provide the said benefit or if the injury was a result of the employer’s reckless or intentional acts of negligence. In any of such instances, the victim can sue his/her employer for the full range of financial damages that include mental anguish, suffering, pain and punitive damages.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of 1971, which is an off-shoot of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or OSH Act, a federal mandate that requires the assurance of a healthy and safe working environment for all employees in both the private and government sectors, puts the burden on employers to make sure that their working environment is, indeed, a safe and healthy workplace.

The law is sure to benefit all employees, but more so those working in construction, industrial and mining companies, who are exposed to hazardous tools, equipment and substances every day. One of the dreaded results that exposure to hazardous elements brings about is the development of a deadly chronic illness. This type of illness usually gets diagnosed only years after it has already developed, when it can no longer be cured. Some of the most dangerous substances that many workers have been exposed to, and the illnesses these can lead to include:

  • Asbestos, a heat-resistant mineral that causes Mesothelioma, a deadly type of cancer
  • Benzene, a chemical that is widely used in the production of plastics, synthetic fibers and other consumer products. Benzene is known to cause multiple myeloma, non-hodgkins lymphoma, myelodysplasia, aplastic anemia and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
  • Manganese, a highly-reactive metal that is used in the manufacture of stainless steel, carbon steel, wires and welding rods. Its fume (which is emitted through the use of manganese welding rods) can damage the brain and central nervous system, the kidney, lungs and liver. It usually causes what is known as the “welder’s disease” or “manganism”
  • Silica, which can be inhaled during crushing of sands and rocks. Silica dust can cause silicosis, an irreversible, deadly form of lung illness which scars and inflames the lungs.

In 2012, almost 3 million cases of workplace illnesses and injuries were reported by private industry employers to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the US Department of Labor. Though these illnesses and injuries may be non-fatal, these still amount to a very high number, considering the fact that situations, which can lead to the development of workplace illnesses, can surely be avoided.

Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, states on its website that occupational illnesses, including lung disorders, are completely preventable, but only with the correct workplace practices and safety equipment which employers are obliged to provide their workers.

Recent Developments in the Product Liability Arena

Defective products have long been the subject of civil litigation, but it is not really as simple as it sounds. According to the website of Wilson & McQueen, PLLC in Lexington, there are many legal considerations that come into play when you go against big corporations especially in a product liability case. It is only with competent legal representation that you can have any chance of being heard.

The most prominent cases currently in the product liability arena concern defective pharmaceutical products, medical devices, and automobiles. But there are other types of products that may be making life miserable for more folks because they are more commonly used. Let’s take a look at some of the everyday products that are coming under fire lately.

Washing machines

There has been a lot of noise made about front-loading washing machines which make clothes moldy. A class action suit is pending against four of the biggest names in washing machines for design defects in their front loading machines that allow biological debris to accumulate with no real way of getting them out, resulting in odoriferous and potentially dangerous mold and mildew growth in the home. If you have noticed that your newly-washed clothes smell funky, it may not be you after all. Contact a product liability lawyer in your area for more details on the front-loading washing machine conundrum.

All-Natural foods

Food labels have become more important to an increasingly health-conscious population, so it is common practice for food makers to label their products “All-Natural” whenever possible.  This practice has recently come under attack as consumers question the truth in their advertising. The issue currently being hashed out now is whether genetically-modified (GMO) food can be considered “all-natural.” The Food and Drug Administration has already refused to make a ruling, leaving it to the courts to decide. Whatever it is, it is believed it will have widespread repercussions in the food industry.  Stay tuned.

Burn Complications

The skin is the largest organ of the human body, providing a protective covering to ward off infections and to regulate temperature. When the skin is extensively damaged to the lower layers by electricity, chemicals, radiation, friction or heat, there are many complications that can ensue over and above the fact that it is extremely painful and disfiguring.

The most urgent concern is the risk of infection. Because the skin has been breached, the patient is vulnerable to bacteria and other pathogens that can easily get into the bloodstream and affect the entire body. When the body attempts to fight off infection, it leads to inflammation and a condition called sepsis, and this can progress quickly into a life-threatening condition.

Another complication of burn injuries is the loss of fluid and blood because of damage to the blood vessels. It can lead to a condition called hypovolemia (low blood volume) which can make it hard for the heart to pump blood throughout the body.

The loss of a large amount of healthy skin can also lead to dangerous amounts of body heat that the body cannot produce in equal amounts. This is called hypothermia, which is also life-threatening.
Burn victims may also develop respiratory problems if they were in a fire because inhaling heated air and smoke damages airways. Many people who die in a burning building do so from smoke inhalation rather than by being burned by the fire.

As mentioned in the article on the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter in Dallas, burn victims face multiple painful operations over several months to harvest from unburned areas of the body to graft them over the burned areas to encourage the growth of new skin, and even then the appearance is far from normal. Moreover, in the healing process tendons can shorten and scarring can contract the skin, considerably limiting movement.

If you were burned because of the negligence of others, you are in the best position to describe the pain and suffering you experienced as a result. You should hold the responsible parties liable so that you will at least be able to get the medical treatment you need and recover financially from your losses. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area with experience in dealing with burn cases to get just compensation.

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