The family of a 6-year-old girl, who lost part of her intestinal tract after sitting on an open drain in a wading pool, has filed a lawsuit against the pool manufacturer and the country club where the accident happened.
The child faces a small intestine transplant that will keep her hospitalized for six months. It is estimated that her lifetime medical expenses could total $30 million. Named as defendants in the complaint were the Minneapolis Golf Club and Sta-Rite Industries, the pool equipment manufacturer, which is owned by Pentair Corp.
Pentair has accused the country club of failing to maintain its pool equipment, but the Minneapolis Golf Club says its pools consistently pass city inspections.
The lawsuit alleges that the little girl was playing in the kiddie pool when she fell and landed on the uncovered suction outlet. She became trapped when the pump created a vacuum and her intestines were pulled out through her rectum.
The child’s father wants the manufacturer of the pool cover to change their product and "take this one off the market." It’s alleges in the complaint that Sta-Rite knew that its suction cover was a hazard, but failed to come up with a safer product. The lawsuit cites three previous disembowelments caused by Sta-Rite equipment.
The manufacturer accuses the Minneapolis Golf Club of failing to properly install the cover and frame, failing to inspect it and failing to close the pool when the cover came off on the day of the accident.
It should be noted that several states acted responsibility and passed pool-safety laws after children drowned or were disemboweled by drain suction. North Carolina, for instance, requires pools to have dual drains to diffuse the force of the suction and prevent children from being trapped.
As you may recall, at the federal level, Congress has failed miserably to pass safety legislation. All of the bills were killed by the lobbyists for swimming pool manufacturers. Hopefully, the federal legislation will now pass since there is new leadership in the House and Senate.