Defense Verdict: Boy Drowned from Lack of Supervision – Supported by Expert Opinion

In this case, Aquatics Expert, Maria Bella, was retained by defense counsel to investigate a drowning incident that occurred at a gated apartment pool.

Defense Verdict: Boy Drowned from Lack of Supervision

In this tragic incident, a two year old boy drowned at a gated pool in an apartment complex. The mother of the deceased brought suit against the apartment complex based on theories of premises liability. Plaintiff’s expert in aquatics attributed the child’s drowning to a defective gate, an overcrowded pool, and the lack of a lifeguard.

Maria Bella was retained by defense counsel to address aquatics safety aspects of the case. Ms. Bella established that any claims of a defective gate were immaterial since the purpose of the gate was to keep children out of the pool area and the plaintiff had already entered the pool area with her children. She also testified that the pool met all municipal codes relevant to the incident. Concerning claims of overcrowding, Ms. Bella was able to establish pool occupants at around 40 based on eyewitness testimony, which is approximately 25% of the pool capacity. (Ms. Bella demonstrated why the maximum capacity was 160.) Moreover, Ms. Bella provided clarification that there was no need for a lifeguard, since it was not required by municipal codes or the aquatic industry standard of care for this type of facility.

Result: The jury found that the boy drowned from a lack of supervision and the apartment complex was not negligent.

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