near-drowning in Atlanta, Georgia, made headline news this week, prompting parents and
communities to think twice about pool drains before sending children to
play in the water.
Al.com reports that 5-year-old Raymond V., son of international music and entertainment
sensation Usher, was swimming in the pool at their Atlanta home when he
got stuck in the pool’s drain. Raymond V. was stuck so firmly in
the pool’s drain that his aunt and a housekeeper were unable to
remove him from it after they spotted him struggling to get free. Fortunately,
two men were inside the Usher residence installing equipment for sound
and were able to wrestle Raymond V. free of the drain’s suction.
One man was able to administer CPR to Raymond V., and he was then taken
to the hospital where he spent the night.
MyFoxTampaBay.com reports that Raymond V’s near-drowning was the result of his arm
becoming stuck in the home’s pool drain as he played. The drain’s
suction was pulling him so hard that he could not get free, and required
the two men to pull him out. The report also notes that Raymond V.’s
terrible near-drowning is not an isolated incident, and should remind
parents and the community to make sure that pool drain covers are in place
and are safe before anyone—child or adult—goes into the water.
Any article of clothing, accessories or hair can become stuck in a pool
drain, and can render a swimmer helpless.
There are over 1400 public pools in Fulton County, Georgia alone. With
such a grave potential for danger, pool drains have been regulated by
federal laws passed in 2007. According to the
Fulton County government website, the federal law mandated that pool manufactures and pool owners comply
with the laws regarding drain covers by 2008. In Fulton County, each and
every pool must have at least two drains with covers that comply with
the standards established by the federal law. In addition, Fulton County
law establishes a permit process to verify that drain covers are compliant
with the laws. Fulton County law also establishes a maximum velocity through
main drain covers in pools. It is important to note that the term “pool”
for the purposes of the law also includes whirlpools, spas, water slides,
training pools, wading pools and hot tubs.
Parents, teachers, babysitters and older siblings can, and should, do the
best they can to prevent a young child under their care from drowning.
Sometimes, however, a pool’s drain has not been installed in compliance
with the law, or is just downright dangerous. In these instances, innocent
children and adults may face the possibility of drowning or severe and
permanent injury. In these cases, compensation can be sought from those
responsible for the dangerous condition of the pool drain. Some of the
parties that may be responsible for a drowning or near-drowning incident
include athletic clubs, municipalities, hotels, homeowners and the drain
manufacturers themselves. Grieving families, and those recovering from
the shock and horror of a near-drowning, may seek justice against these
parties for the loss they have suffered in relation to a dangerous drain.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a pool drain injury, near-drowning
or drowning, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced
personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve and can represent
you and your loved one’s interests in court.