Houston Defective Pool Drain Accident Attorney
Pool Drowning and Near-Drowning Accidents Due To Defective Pool Drains
As a swimmer we often do not realize how important the design of the drain and/or drain cover is to our safety. A common hazard that poses a drowning risk is a defective drain design that creates a suction and entrapment hazard. This type of hazard exists when the design of the drain system itself allows the drain to be entirely blocked by a swimmer’s body, thereby creating a vacuum effect. Drains naturally create a suction effect to draw in and circulate water. However, if the design is flawed, swimmers, particularly small children can block the entire flow of water at the mouth of the drain by accident. As water tries to flow past, a vacuum suction is created. Kids can ultimately be stuck to the drain and entrapped.
In recent years there have been numerous signals to public pool owners and manufacturers that certain designs and drain covers simply should not be used. In 2007, the Virginia Graeme Baker Act was enacted is response to the drowning death of a three-year-old child who was entrapped by a hot tub drain. The vacuum created by the drain design was so strong that adults had to pull so hard to free her body that the drain cover actually broke. This Federal Statute mandated that certain single drain design pools and spas had to have a drain that prevented the entire drain from being blocked by children’s bodies. This safer design is accomplished by having a long thin drain opening or having the standard circular drain opening with long thing protrusions or branches extending out to the sides to allow free passage of water if the main drain is covered.
Also, in May of 2011, eight different drain manufacturers recalled certain drain covers due to incorrect water flow ratings in conjunction with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. These incorrect ratings could result in drains that pose an entrapment hazard to swimmers. Defective drains and drain covers can pose an entanglement hazard as well if the design allows for human hair and or body parts to get sucked in blocking the water flow and creating a vacuum. With the alarming rate of increase in drowning accidents and the changes in laws and regulations, public pool owners and operators cannot simply turn a blind eye to the hazards.
If you suspect you or someone you love has been the victim of a defective pool or spa drain or drain cover, please contact Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., to speak with one of our Houston pool defect attorneys today.