Summertime is in full swing in Chicagoland, and what better way to beat the heat than hitting your local parks and pools. It is a common sight to see the children of the greater Chicago area playing in local fountains like Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park, but especially kicking back and spending the day at local pools with family and friends. Both Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are filled with many recreational swimming pools for exercise, leisure, and fun. However, since these locations are popular spots for summer fun, they can often become very crowded as well. With increased popularity, this means these locations need to maintain extra vigilance and enforce safety procedure, as they are legally responsible for their guests under premises liability law.
Negligence by pool owners and operators happens far too often. As a result, members of our Chicagoland community, particularly young ones, can suffer serious personal injuries and even death from drowning. According to a recent report by the Chicago Tribune, a young girl is recovering after a near drowning at a Warrenville Lifetime Fitness pool. The four-year-old girl was found unresponsive at the bottom of the fitness center pool. Fortunately she is now able to answer questions and recall her family members and pets, according to the Warrenville Fire Protection. At the time of the incident, firefighters responded to a call of a drowning victim at the health club, and she was not breathing. The firefighters immediately began trying to resuscitate the girl through CPR and suctioning water out of her airway. What is alarming is that this near drowning occurred during open swim while lifeguards were on duty.
It is shocking that this type of accident could occur while the pool was under supervision by trained individuals meant to watch over and keep the premises safe. When paying guests visit a facility, that facility has a legal duty and responsibility to keep the premises safe and to keep the paying visitors from harm. Where lifeguards were on duty to protect swimmers and a young girl was found unconscious and not breathing at the bottom of a pool is indicative that those responsible acted negligently and did not provide the care for this girl that they should have. Had the operators of the premises been vigilant, this girl would not have been in danger or near death, especially for such an extended period of time where she needed to be found at the bottom of the pool.
Our attorneys understand the seriousness of premises liability law. When an accident or injury occurs on another’s property, especially commercial entities with paying visitors, the owner of the property can be held liable where it is proved that their negligence led to the injury or death. In a premises liability lawsuit, to succeed a plaintiff must show that property owners failed to maintain the property or created unsafe conditions that caused injury or knew about unsafe hazards but did not alert visitors to this knowledge.