A 7-year-old boy participating in a Altadena day camp program nearly drowned in the John Muir High School pool on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 according to a report in the Pasadena Star News.
The day campers were spending the day at the high school’s pool when a lifeguard spotted the boy in the water. A lifeguard pulled him out and CPR was immediately administered. When paramedics arrived the boy had a pulse but was not breathing on his own.
Let’s all keep this little guy in our prayers for a full recovery. Many near drowning victims suffer brain damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain. Let’s hope this boy and his parents suffer nothing more than a horrendous scare.
Swimming pool drownings in Southern California are nothing new. What is unique about this near drowning is that it happened at a public pool with life guards on duty and with, supposed, professional supervision. In California there are nearly twice as many drownings in backyard pools than in all other pools combined.
Los Angeles County has more than twice as many near drownings, over two hundred a year, as San Diego and Orange counties combined. LA, San Diego and Orange counties account for half of all near drownings in California.
When a parent sends their child to day camp, they are expecting that their child will be safe, especially around water. I am sure this day camp provider is checking their liability releases and calling their insurance company. They are in deep trouble. There is no excuse for this type of a swimming accident at a public pool involving a seven-year-old day camper. The camp organizers have a very high duty of care, which was apparently violated in this case.
I’ll bet the insurance company for the camp has already investigated this unfortunate event and is trying to line up their witnesses and stories to avoid liability. If this boy has any injury at all, expect there will be a claim. If the parents have the right law firm, the case will settle and never get to court, that is how bad I see the case for the camp organizers.
Let’s hope this doesn’t apply but a brain injury to this boy will cost the boy and his family millions of dollars in care and lost income across the boy’s life time. The last California brain injury case that we did the “life care plan”, what it was going to take in terms of dollars to sustain the boy with his various special needs, exceeded $15 million dollars.