A 3 year-old boy recently drowned at a Quality Inn & Suites in Knoxville, TN. He is the third drowning victim at the hotel since 2015. The family of a 7 year-old boy, who drowned in 2017, is currently suing the hotel for negligence. A 4 year-old boy drowned in the same hotel pool in 2015.
The petition from the 2017 drowning, alleges the hotel was negligent for failing: (1) to post a lifeguard at the pool; and (2) in failing to restrict in any way access by children to the children’s play area and the nearby swimming pool. Additionally, the hotel had knowledge over the 2015 drowning, but failed to take any action to prevent another drowning.
Drowning remains the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 4, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2018, at least 148 children younger than age 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation. Texas and Florida tied for the state with the most drownings with 21. Unfortunately, for Texas that marks a 50% increase from 2017, when there were 14 drownings over the Memorial Day to Labor Day timeframe.
As we enter pool season, the CPSC makes the following recommendations to help keep children safe in and around the water:
- Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas.
- Designate an adult Water Watcher to supervise children at all times around the water.
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- Teach children to stay away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Ensure any pool or spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.
Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the repeated incidents at the Quality Inn & Suites in Knoxville, TN, children still drown as a result of another’s negligence. If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a drowning, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or toll free at 1‑888-229-5588.