Man is Injured by Broken Glass in Pool

    Premises Liability Expert WitnessThis case takes place in Massachusetts and involves a man who suffered injuries from a glass shard that was present at the bottom of a swimming pool in a large water park. The man had been relaxing by the side of a large pool when he decided to take a swim. After descending a ladder on the side of the pool to enter the water, the man began to wade through the pool. After traveling thought the pool for several minutes, the man felt a large piece of glass puncture his skin. After removing the glass from his foot, it was inspected and found to be consistent with the type of glass used in the bottles of beer that the park was serving at a poolside bar. As a result of his injuries, the man suffered serious nerve damage to his foot that will never heal. It is alleged that the pool area should have been properly inspected before and after opening, and that that glass containers should not have been permitted in that area.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1.What are the proper checks that need to be followed before opening up pool area to the public?
    • 2. Should glass containers be allowed in the pool area- if so, what extra precautions need to be taken to ensure patron safety?

    Expert Witness Response E-009291

    It is generally standard practice to not allow any glass in the pool area because of potential injuries from broken class that can’t be easily seen. It is often the case that clear, hard plastic is not allowed for the same reason. Some business require that any plastic (or glass) used in a pool area be colored and that the color not be the same as the pool surround or tile. Should glass containers be allowed in a pool area, it would be reasonable to require that they be of a color that stands out from the walking and pool surfaces and that there should be an inventory of the items before and after use. I am a certified hotel administrator and I have experience managing a large private club where we served lunch poolside and held club and private function poolside. I did not allow any glass or clear, hard plastic on the premises. I have also consulted on design of poolside food service facilities at a private club internationally, including setting policies on use of glassware for beverages, dining, and functions by the pool. It seems clear that the management of the park was negligent in allowing glass containers to be used in the pool area without instituting the proper safety procedures and considerations.

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