Tom: Yeah you know it now after Memorial Day, pools are open now for most people while pool safety is a big concern, today we want to talk about the responsibility of pool owners. Commercial and private, here now attorney Charles Gilman of Gilman and Bedigian thank you so much for coming in.
Charles: My pleasure thank you for having me Tom as always.
Tom: Yeah, there is a lot of rules when coming around to pools, I mean if you ever see a pool or driving around they have to be fenced off and there always has to be a lock on the gate to get on. And there has to be certain high so there is a lot of requirements if you want to be a pool owner because of incidents that have happened but if you follow all those rules and still some kids get into your pool and hurt themselves, you could be on vacation. Are you responsible for that?
Charles: You could be its very fact specific but to give you a quick over view the answer is yes. If you have a fence but you know the neighbor has children that are climbing the fence and you don't do anything to prevent them or talk to their [parents or figure and way how to make the fence safe so that those children can't get over that then yes you could be held liable.
Tom: How bad is that I mean like a drowning versus someone breaking their ankle running around your pool when you are not home.
Charles: Well drownings are usually catastrophic in nature in that someone is obviously dead or that they are brain dead after it happens and so those are significant injuries. If you had a child for example that fell in your pool was underwater long enough that they have lost oxygen to their brain that they can no longer breathe or that they can breathe on their own but they can't function that is a catastrophic injury because that child was going to possibly live a normal life to 80 or 90 years old but is in a bed as a vegetable.
Charles: Um and they are going to need a life time of care. The other type of catastrophic injury is death and obviously that is a pretty bad fate.
Tom: Okay let's talk about commercial because if you go to any commercial pool there is always a lot of signs up a lot of things and I have been at commercial clubs and pools where kids are there without their parents. So the parents are supposed to be watching them it says: “Parents make sure even though we have life guards present make sure you are watching.” But the parents leave or they drop the kids off and go is the commercial pool own there even though they did all the requirements are they also responsible?
Charles: Most likely yes because in a commercial pool you have life guards and you have them for a reason it's a very important job that's why they call it life guard. You are guarding lives and if that life guard is not focused on the pool because they are distracted from texting or by other patrons. Yeah dangerous things can happen by the pool and just because you post signs that pool are inherently dangerous does not mean that it absolves you of liability. You are still responsible to make sure that your life guards if you are management make sure that your life guards are doing their jobs and paying full attention to everybody that they can. Or that you staff the pool with more life guards there is always a better way to do it.
Tom: Alright Charles Gilman with Gilman and Bedigian thank you so much for coming in.
Charles: Thank you for having me Tom.