IN THE NEWS: PARENTS OF GIRL WHO DROWNED SUE CITY OF PRINCETON
Just months ago, even as we were warning in this Ramey & Hailey blog that “pooltime can be the most dangerous of times, particularly for our children,” a tragedy was taking place in southern Indiana, where 5-year old Kimber Hibbs drowned during a pool party at the Princeton Aquatic Center.
Now Kimber’s parents are suing the city, seeking damages for medical and hospital bills, plus funeral and burial expenses. Also named in the lawsuit is the girl’s foster mother, whom the parents claim failed to act swiftly enough to save her.
When death results from a drowning, family members may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the property owner. In this case, the property owner is the municipality of Princeton, Indiana.
Every child’s life is precious, but the sobering truth is that, for children ages 1-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death (after motor vehicle crashes). Even for those children who survive the drowning, their quality of life may never be the way it was before the accident. In that case, our mission as personal injury attorneys becomes helping recover funds to pay for:
- medical expenses
- rehabilitative costs
- loss of future earning capacity
- pain and suffering
It’s important to realize that the true purpose of personal injury law is to make things safer and better for people. Owners of property have what is called premises liability, meaning they have a duty to offer reasonable safety precautions. On the other hand, while property owners have a duty to prevent dangerous conditions in and around their premises, keeping diving boards, ladders, barriers, and drain covers in working order, there is no way for owners to prevent all accidents that happen in and around a pool.
What is needed is active adult supervision, Jessica Heller writes in eliteclubs.com. That means being engaged with and focused on the child, with close visual contact (no Facebooking, tanning, socializing, sleeping, or talking, or phoning).”Most people don’t realize how quickly and quietly drowning can occur.”