In Florida, it is common to see swimming pools in most neighborhood. It is somewhat of a luxury to have a swimming pool right there in the back yard. Swimming pools can add to the aesthetics of the house and surrounding. Swimming pools can also provide for a great deal of fun and relaxation for adults and children alike. Unfortunate and tragically, swimming pools are also the site of horrible tragedies that despite laws, common sense, and the general knowledge of other similar tragedies continue to take place. It has been reported that Florida leads the nations in drowning for children under the age of 5 years old. Florida has ranked second in drownings the age group of 1 to 14 years old. Florida’s weather allows for swimming almost year round. During Spring and Summer months, it is tragically predictable that additional drownings of small children will take place.
Florida has adopted a swimming pool act that applies to all homeowners with a swimming pool. There must be a barrier that is at least 4 feet high on the outside. There should not be any gaps, openings, or structural components that would allow a child to crawl or squeeze through the barrier or enclosure. You can read more about these regulations at Section 515.29, Florida Statutes – Residential Swimming Pool Barrier Requirements.
Can a homeowner be held liable or responsible with a child neighbor or child visitor drowns in the swimming pool in Florida? The answer to this question like most legal question is “It depends.” If the homeowner failed to follow the Florida Residential Swimming Pool Act and these violations were the proximate cause of the drowning – then the homeowner may be held liable or responsible for the drowning.