We Southern Californians get to enjoy our beaches and pools year-round, unlike residents of many other areas of the country. But familiarity can breed complacency when it comes to pool safety.
Most people know basic pool safety rules, e.g., never leave a non-swimmer child alone near the water for even a second, but there is one hidden danger of pools and spas — drain entrapment.
What it is and why it is so deadly
There are various types of drain entrapment, but basically what happens is the swimmer or spa user gets stuck to the drain by its strong suction power. If they are trapped underwater, either by their hair, limbs, torso, clothing fabric or jewelry, they can drown within minutes.
Evisceration can also occur
Perhaps the most gruesome injury that can result from drain entrapment is an evisceration. This can occur when an adult or child sits down on a faulty drain cover and the strength of the suction is great enough to disembowel them right in the pool.
As you can imagine, these injuries, if survivable, can result in six-digit medical bills (or more). That does not include future care, which — in the worst of cases — can easily require 24-hour around-the-clock care.
Who is responsible for these injuries?
If you were using private or public facilities, the property owner or manager has a duty of care to safely maintain their premises for guests and visitors to use. If they were negligent by not replacing a missing drain cover or fixing another flaw in the water filtration system — and your injuries were caused by that negligence — you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and other losses.