When you go to a public swimming pool with a lifeguard, you expect that the lifeguard on duty will be attentive and responsive to emergencies. Unfortunately, many lifeguards get distracted by socializing or may not be adequately trained to deal with certain emergencies. They may not meet their critical duty to people under their watch, including children. If you were injured in East Tennessee due to lifeguard negligence, Knoxville swimming pool accident attorney Mark Hartsoe is ready to help you seek damages. When a lifeguard failed to meet their obligations, and a loved one’s life is lost, the lifeguard and the pool may also be held accountable. Mark Hartsoe is an experienced premises liability lawyer who can thoroughly investigate the situation and build a strong claim.Bringing a Premises Liability Claim Based on Lifeguard Negligence
If you or a loved one is harmed due to lifeguard negligence, you may be able to recover damages such as medical costs, lost income, loss of enjoyment, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. As a personal injury plaintiff, you will need to show that the lifeguard owed you a duty, breached this duty, and in breaching the duty, caused your injuries. In addition to holding the lifeguard responsible, you may have a basis to bring a lawsuit against the owner of the public swimming pool.
Tennessee has enacted several rules for public swimming pool safety. Among other rules, when a lifeguard is on duty, they are supposed to make sure that there are not too many people in the pool, and these people should not be engaging in unsafe activities or roughhousing. They are supposed to watch the water in case of a swimmer having trouble, and they must follow appropriate procedures to rescue people in distress. A jury may find that a lifeguard has breached their duty if they fail to scan the pool regularly or fail to conduct a timely rescue effort, and someone is injured or killed as a result.
Under Rule 1200-23-5-.02, lifeguards must be certified, and there should be a certain number of certified lifeguards per square feet of the pool. In a pool that is 1,800 to 3,000 square feet, for example, there should be one lifeguard, whereas if a pool is 9,000 to 12,000 square feet, there should be four certified lifeguards. There should also be a minimum number of lifeguards based on the number of swimmers. For example, if there are 26 to 50 swimmers, there must be a minimum of two lifeguards. Lifeguards are also supposed to be present at any pool that has a diving board or tower that is one meter or more above ordinary operating water levels.
A public swimming pool operator's failure to follow these rules in connection with its lifeguards may be negligence per se. A public swimming pool may also be vicariously liable for its employees' negligence in the course and scope of their duties as lifeguards.
Pools that are not required to provide lifeguards but choose to do so to increase patron safety are still obliged to be careful when hiring, training, and supervising lifeguards. If a pool operator has reason to know that a lifeguard is not qualified to rescue and revive patrons based on past experience or because the lifeguard is not trained, it may be responsible for that lifeguard's negligence.Contact Knoxville Attorney Mark Hartsoe After a Swimming Pool Accident
If you or a loved one was hurt as a result of lifeguard negligence, you should consult Knoxville swimming pool accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form for a free consultation. Mark Hartsoe represents injured people throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.