Apartment Pool Drowning a Horrible Tragedy
Fred SchultzAugust 17, 2009 11:55 AM
It broke my heart to see that a 4 year old boy drowned in the pool at the Bachelor Heights apartment complex. I have a five year old son and simply cannot imagine, and don't want to even pretend to image, the pain his family is suffering.
Pools are a lot of fun in the summer, but they are also very dangerous. There is a good reason why homeowners insurance premiums can go sky-high when people have pools. As we all know, kids are curious, and the younger they are, the less they are able to appeciate danger.
A 4-year-old boy drowned Sunday in an apartment swimming pool just south of Bloomington.
The drowning happened at the Batchelor Heights pool, on West Gordon Pike, about 4:30 p.m., Monroe County coroner Nicole Meyer said.
Most apartments and hotels that have pools do not provide lifeguards, and often post signs that warn people. Many times the owners of the property think that this warning somehow eleviates them of any liability in the future. This is not the case, especially in a situation like this where you have a child that is incapable of appreciating the danger.
Property owners, whether commercial, apartment owners, or homeowners, who choose to have pools also have a duty under Indiana law to take reasonable steps to secure their property (including the pool) to make the premises safe. What is "reasonable" depends on the circumstances in each case.
Basically, the law recognizes that each situation may be a little different. What is "reasonable" for a homeowner to do may be different than what is "reasonable" for an apartment complex. It's not reasonable for a homeowner to have a lifeguard on duty, but it is reasonable to expect the homeowner to have a fence. Whether its reasonable to expect a commercial property to have a lifeguard or attendant also varies. For example, how often the pool is used, how many people have access to the pool, does the property charge admission to the pool, etc.
Much more needs to be known before anyone can assess blame in this situation, and the article in the paper references that the Sheriff's Department will be reviewing security camera footage. What is clear is that this a terribly sad story.