In Jacksonville, Florida and other cites, swimming parties are quite common. However, not every swimming party goes through the formality of assigning a “Lifeguard” and “Water Watchers”. This does not mean that every swimming party should have a trained and certified Lifeguard; however, it would be ideal to have a trained Lifeguard is one is available. For purposes of this article, let’s designate the Lifeguard as the manager of the water watchers or the person who makes sure that there are adult supervisors / water watchers in place at all times during the party. This can also include times in which no children are in the pool IF the children have access to the pool. With far too many parties, there are many adults present but nobody is watching the water. The adults are engaged in conversation and otherwise staring at their phones and tablets. Just because an adult is close in proximity to a swimming pool – it does not mean that the adult is paying attention.
It is best if the host of the party designates a Lifeguard and Water Watchers. It may be helpful to have a sign up sheet and times set up for the Lifeguard and the Water Watchers. The simple act of setting up the sign up sheet and then having the right people in place to serve as a Lifeguard and Water Watchers can save a life of a child and otherwise make the activity of swimming that much safer for the children.
Jacksonville, Florida had 6 drowning deaths to date. Certainly, it is a terrible headline for the community and a worse one for the families who have suffered the loss of a child due to a drowning incident. If a child dies from a drowning event or incident that could have been prevented by the acts of other persons, parties, business entities, or government entities, then an insurance claim or lawsuit may be pursued on behalf of the parents of the child. This is called a Wrongful Death case which is governed in part by Chapter 768. Florida Statutes. The most recent child to die as a result of a drowning incident was reported as Nyziah Clark who was attending a pool party with classmates at a pool for a gated townhome community. See 6th Drowning Death Reported in Jacksonville, Florida.
Like other types of death / negligence cases, there are four elements to prove as part of the case: 1. Duty; 2. Breach of Duty; 3. Causation; and 4. Damages. While not an element of a case, it is also important to search for available insurance coverage for an injury or wrongful death case. For some incidents and events, there is no available coverage or there is some kind of exclusion for the injury or wrongful death.
David Wolf is a personal injury, child injury, and wrongful death attorney based in Jacksonville, Florida who handles cases throughout the State of Florida. He has over 28 years of experience and provides a Free Consultation on all injury and wrongful death cases. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Swimming and Aquatic Related Injuries, Playground Injuries, Sports Related Injuries, Auto Accidents, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.