In November 2016, a 7-year-old boy in California drowned while swimming in the spa pool in the backyard of his family’s rental home. The family believes that their son was the victim of “suction entrapment,” which causes a person to be sucked by powerful force against a spa or pool drain, making it difficult to break free or to be rescued. The child went underwater, in the vicinity of the spa drain, and his arm was sucked into the drain and he could not pull himself off of the drain because of the strong suction. Family members struggled to save the boy and turn off the pump but were unable to do so. The Pentair Intelliflo pump, part of the spa system, did not have a safety vacuum release system, which can shut off a pump when a suction entrapment situation is occurring. Sadly, the cost to Pentair to add the feature is not substantial and pales in comparison to the life-saving benefits of such a system. The spa was also installed with an inadequate cover on the drain. Many newer pools and spas have dual drains that reduce the chance of suction entrapment when compared with single-drain spas such as the one in which the boy died.
These dangerous drains are still being used in spas and pools in Arizona and throughout the country. While it may be difficult to detect a dangerous drain system, one defect that is readily apparent is a missing pool drain cover. If you see that your pool’s drain cover has come off, call your pool service company immediately. If you are swimming in a public pool, immediately notify the management and do not let your children in the pool until the necessary repairs are made.
Sadly, we have handled other cases of children injured as a result of defective pools and pool barriers. If a loved one has been injured in a pool safety accident, call us so that we can give you a free consultation and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Author: Serena C. Montague
Publication Date: July 5, 2017