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Swimming Pool Deaths and Injuries - Georgia State Law - Part I

It's that time of year again...swimming pool season in Atlanta, Georgia.

My family spent the weekend watching my oldest son play in a Lacrosse tournament.  It was in Roswell Park, a North Atlanta, Georgia recreation complex.  As we were walking back to our car, I noticed a lifeguard certification class going on at the public pool.  It consisted mostly of college kids, all listening intently to the instructor.  The scene instantly flooded my memory of a tragic swimming pool drowning case I handled in Forsyth County last year.  Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a series of blogs pertaining to swimming pool safety requirements in Georgia.  Hopefully my blogs will help at least one family avoid the tragic consequences of inadequate safety, supervision or maintenance of a swimming pool or water park.

The case I handled last year involved the drowning of a four year old girl.  The girl's parents had hired a 35 year old woman to babysit her while they worked.  The babysitter was watching the young girl, and a number of other children at the woman's neighborhood swimming pool in Cumming, Georgia.  At one point the twin sister of the babysitter agreed to watch the children while the babysitter went back to her home to get some dry clothes.  Despite the fact that there were other people at the pool, nobody noticed the girl slip to the bottom until it was too late.  Two teenage boys pulled her out of the water, but she could not be resuscitated.  She left behind her parents and her eight year old brother.

                           

Swimming pool liability - negligent supervision leads to drowning

In this case, the babysitter was clearly negligent in failing to exercise due care under the circumstances.  She agreed to watch the child while her sister was away from the pool area to get some dry clothes.  Instead of watching the child, the babysitter was, according to our investigation, talking on her cell phone and not paying attention to what was going on in the pool. 

NEXT:  What is ordinary diligence?

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