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In 2022, 10 children ages 14 and younger died by drowning in Clark County swimming pools according to the Southern Nevada Health District. Eight of those children were four years old or younger. The CDC estimates that 1.25 of every 100,000 people in Nevada suffer drowning deaths.1
Drownings are not the only swimming pool injuries in Las Vegas. Victims also sustain:
Swimming pool deaths shatter families, and non-fatal accidents can result in serious injuries requiring expensive medical treatments and home healthcare. In many of these cases, a third-party is to blame.
Three potential defendants you can sue in a Las Vegas swimming pool injury lawsuit are:
The person or company who owns and operates a swimming pool where the accident occurred can be sued for negligence or wrongful death (if your family member died). Even if the owner was not present during the accident, they still have a legal “duty of care” under premises liability law.
To prevail on in a premises liability lawsuit, we would need to prove:
In legal terms, swimming pools are considered “attractive nuisances” that may attract trespassers. This is why homeowners should have a pool fence (and an alarm), especially if they know children have easy access to their backyard. (Fences are also important to safeguard against adult trespassers who may have intellectual disabilities such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism or Down Syndrome.)
Or if a Las Vegas hotel/motel has a private pool party but fails to hire a lifeguard, it could be held liable for any unintentional drownings due to lack of supervision. This is especially true if the hotel/motel managers knew their guests (“invitees”) would be drinking and therefore prone to fall accidents.
Even the City of Las Vegas could be held liable for accidents that occur in its public swimming pools. I have seen cases where a defective drainage system sucked a swimmer below the water level (“circulation entrapment”), and the the municipal government was held liable for failing to maintain pool safety.
Yes, you may be able to sue the swimming pool’s supervisors or lifeguards for injuries that occurred on their watch. Though in my experience, it is often not worth it.
Under the legal principle of respondeat superior (vicarious liability), employers are responsible for their employees’ negligence. Plus, the employers likely have deeper pockets anyway.2
Sometimes swimming pool accidents occur at the fault of other swimmers, particularly if they are intoxicated, roughhousing, or in a fight. I have seen cases where someone:
In these or similar cases, you may be able to sue the at-fault party for battery and negligence. If your family member died in the accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit.3 (Depending on the case, the D.A. may bring criminal charges as well.)
The manufacturers of pools and pool equipment are held to a strict liability standard. In order to prevail in a lawsuit against them following a swimming pool accident, we would have to show :
Serious injuries or death can result from defective pool equipment such as diving boards, handrails, slides, ladders, filters, pool pumps, flotation devices, or expired/contaminated chemicals. Meanwhile, underwater tubing, piping, or debris can cause swimmers to get entangled.
Common evidence we rely on in these cases are photographs of the defective equipment and eyewitnesses who can testify to how it failed.4
Under Nevada’s comparative negligence laws, you can still recover damages from a swimming pool injury as long as you were not more than 50% at fault. Your final payout, though, will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
Example: You sustain $10,000 from breaking your leg while running to the pool at your fitness center. The court finds the fitness center 50% at fault for not having a “wet floor” sign and you 50% at fault because you were running. Therefore you could receive $5,000 (half of $10,000).
In every Nevada swimming pool lawsuit, I seek damages for:
In cases where your family member died, you may recover damages for funeral/burial expenses and loss of support.
The vast majority of these cases settle out of court, though if necessary I can take the matter to trial in pursuit of a jury verdict. Note that the statute of limitations to sue for a swimming pool injury or drowning is usually only two years after the incident, so do not wait to contact me.
For more information, refer to the following:
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.