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An all-too-common tragedy in Florida, especially in the summertime, involves a child, a guest, or a friend, who drowns while swimming in the presence of others in the very same pool. The general public, untrained in the investigation and causation of water-safety deaths, justifiably can wonder how such a drowning could occur. Unfortunately, the pattern of such swimming deaths is quite similar. This category of accidents also falls within the field of premises liability.


The average swimmer is usually unfamiliar with pools depth, slope, and bottom configuration, and is untrained in identifying the initial stages of drowning. A properly positioned lifeguard could easily prevent these unnecessary deaths. A typical pool ordinance applicable to hotels and motels requires that the slope of the pool bottom, where the shallow end leads to the deep end, be no steeper than one foot of vertical drop for each three horizontal feet. The ordinance also requires the placement of a self-latching gate that is to be located near the shallow end of the pool.

Finally, and in addition to other safety measures enforced to prevent swimming pool accidents, it is also required to mount a shepherd’s crook and a ring buoy at the approximate halfway point of the length of the pool.

Silva & Silva experts investigate and report upon the negligent conduct of the on-duty lifeguards and the hotel’s management, as well as deviations from local laws ordinances by the swimming pool developer and/or hotel owner/operator. They prepare reports regarding the construction flaws discovered in the swimming pool and surrounding areas and ultimately testify on behalf of the Firm’s clients.

Drowning in a swimming pool is a reasonably foreseeable and preventable event that can arise from the failure to have a trained lifeguard present to minimize and/or eliminate this risk. Another factor that can contribute and/or cause a swimming pool tragedy is a body-suction-entrapment drowning if a defectively designed pool is not built in accordance with acceptable industry standards and not in compliance with local ordinances.

Silva & Silva relies on its attorneys and investigators, who are familiar with laws and ordinances and who supervise and review the work of retained experts. It is the Firm’s access to the best experts in this field that allows it to provide its clients with the best legal representation possible in these types of catastrophes.