Emily Su, 6, was killed in a Los Angeles swimming pool accident, which officials say occurred during a block party, the night of May 28, 2012. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal drowning incident occurred in the 4900 block of Indianola Way in La Canada Flintridge. Officials say Su was playing with a 5-year-old girl when that child came into the house, soaking wet. Su was found in the pool and they were unable to revive her. The pool had a fence around it, but it appears that the fence may have been damaged. An investigation is underway.
My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Emily Su following this tragic drowning accident. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Child Drowning Statistics
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nationwide approximately 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning. On an average, two of the 10 victims are children aged 14 or younger. In the year 2007, there were 3,443 fatal unintentional drowning incidents in the United States. For every child who is fatally injured, another four require emergency treatment for nonfatal submersion injuries.
What Caused This Fatal Swimming Pool Accident?
Based on this news account, the fence surrounding the pool where the drowning occurred may have been damaged. It is unclear if the damaged fence was the reason that the young victim had access to the pool, and if any adults were aware children were near the pool. There are several important questions here. Were any of the adults at the party supervising the children in and around the pool? Who was watching Emily Su at the time? Was she swimming in the pool or did she slip and fall into the pool and drown? Did the children get into the swimming pool area because of the damaged fence? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
Laws and Liability Issues
Under California Law, all private swimming pool owners must have drowning prevention safety features on their property. For example, all private pools must have a fence, wall or barrier with a self-closing door that can be locked, in addition to mesh pool fencing. The home must also have an exit alarm that will sound an alert if someone enters the pool area.
If the drowning occurred because of a defective or improperly maintained pool fence or door, the property owner can be held liable for the incident. If the person who was supposed to have been watching the child was negligent, then, he or she can be held liable as well. Family members in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles swimming pool injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.