Man Dies After Drowning in Murky Swimming Pool

Inna Kraner, J.D.

Written by
— Updated on April 11, 2018

swimming pool murkyThis case involves a man who was swimming in the pool of an apartment complex. The man’s girlfriend was present and two other friends were present. The pool’s deep end was 8 feet deep. The drop-off was steep and the pool did not have a float rope. The man went into the deep end of the pool and failed to come to the surface. At first, his friends though he was “kidding around.” The water in the pool was very murky and cloudy and it was impossible for the man’s girlfriend and his friends to see him. Although the man’s girlfriend and his friends became worried about him, they did not know how to swim. The man’s girlfriend got a pole and began poking around in the water. The man’s girlfriend found him and called a maintenance man to help her get him out of the pool. The maintenance man pulled the man out of the pool and called 911. The emergency personnel that came to the apartment were unable to revive him and he died. The apartment complex did not have any pool maintenance logs and did not have a pool emergency phone or a pool operations manager. The man’s family brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the manager of the apartment complex.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What could cause the water in an apartment pool to become dark and murky and should swimmers be stopped from using a pool if the water is unclear?

Expert Witness Response

Proper pool maintenance procedures include changing the filters on a pool and also using proper chemicals to clean the pool. Failure to use these procedures can result in the pool water becoming murky and cloudy over time. If a drowning accident occurs and the pool water is murky, this can prevent a person from being rescued since it is difficult to spot a drowned person in cloudy pool water. Usually, city ordinances require that managers of apartment complexes follow certain safety procedures, such as making sure that the pool is regularly and properly maintained and making sure that there is a qualified person in charge of pool operations. Most pools in apartment complexes must have pool lights which are operable and must also have a gate which can be locked in cases where the pool water becomes murky or dark and is dangerous for swimmers. In this case, the manager of the apartment complex was probably negligent because they failed to use proper procedure (i.e. using proper chlorine levels) to ensure that the water clarity was adequate for swimming. Since the manager of the apartment complex knew that the water was murky, they had a duty to lock to gate to the pool and prevent swimmers from using the pool since it was not safe to swim there.

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