Since summer has arrived, kids will flock to swimming pools, lakes, and other bodies of water. Although a swimming pool or pond can provide recreation, entertainment, and exercise, parents must exercise vigilance because drowning constitutes a serious risk to small children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 10 people per day drown in non-boating related incidents. Almost one in five of these drowning victims are children 14 or younger, so parents should be vigilant in the vicinity of swimming locations. Tragically, drownings and near drownings resulting in brain damage can occur even when parents take precautions to protect their children. In this blog, our Miami defective product attorneys review a case where parents unsuccessfully pursued a product liability lawsuit alleging a defective piece of safety equipment was a substantial factor in causing their toddler’s drowning.
In Coterel v. Dorel Juvenile Group, a federal appellate court from another state considered a product liability lawsuit brought by the grieving parents of their 23-month-old son. The young child climbed out of his crib in the middle of the night and wandered to a nearby pond. When the parents awoke in the morning, they discovered the door open. The dad searched and found his son floating in the pond about fifty yards from the home. The parents filed a wrongful death suit against the maker of a doorknob cover that the couple received as a gift. The complaint alleged that the manufacturer of the safety device was defective because it failed to prevent the boy from opening the door. The lawsuit contended the doorknob cover was negligently marketed and negligently manufactured. Continue reading →