On August 2, 2013, a three-year old boy drowned in an outdoor kids' pool at the Kalahari water park in Sandusky, Ohio. The family has since filed a wrongful death suit against the water park, alleging the toddler was not wearing a life vest as required by the park and there were insufficient lifeguards at the park to monitor the number of guests. Over a million guests visit this particular water park each year, and while park officials maintain they acted appropriately, the state of Ohio has fined Kalahari five times since 2005 for lifeguard shortages and other issues. Two lifeguards were on duty at the time of the drowning, however state regulations require a third lifeguard when more than fifty people are in the water.
Drowning Fatalities Not All That Uncommon in Miami
Unfortunately, this tragic drowning is hardly an isolated incident. With over fifteen major water parks in Florida--and many smaller one--the risks of a serious accident or fatality increase exponentially. In fact, Florida has a history of ranking the highest for unintentional drowning among children aged 1-4 and, during certain years, Florida's drowning rate has been as much as three times the national average. Of course, our Miami personal injury lawyers know that these numbers include drowning in bathtubs, home pools, public pools, in natural water sources as well as in public water parks. Nationwide, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1-14.
Miami Water Park Drowning
A visit to a water park in the Miami area should be a fun activity for all involved, however when negligence on the part of the park or its employees results in a serious injury or loss of a loved one, it could be necessary to file a civil lawsuit against the park. The water parks in Florida draw thousands of visitors each and every day, particularly during the hottest summer months. While there is a certain inherent risk associated with water rides, tide pools and other water attractions in a water park, in some cases injuries could have been avoided if the attractions had been properly built, maintained and inspected. In other cases, negligent park supervision may be to blame for drowning or near-drowning accidents. Tightened economies can result in water parks that fail to maintain equipment in a safe operating condition or who skimp on supervision staff in order to save money. In order to avoid a water park drowning in Miami, water park operators have a legal obligation to ensure the grounds are safe for all visitors.
Questions Pertinent to a Water Park Drowning in Miami