A 3-year-old girl died in a swimming pool accident after she drowned in a community pool in Irvine while being watched by a caregiver, The Daily Pilot reports. Officials say the toddler was being watched by a caregiver at Stone Creek Swim Club in Irvine when she “disappeared.” The caregiver and lifeguards searched for about 10 minutes before they found the child in a spa. Irvine police and firefighters attempted to resuscitate the child. She was transported to an area trauma center where she was pronounced dead.
This marks the fourth drowning of a child in Orange County in the last two weeks. On July 13, 2-year-old Johan Castaneda was found in a residential pool in Yorba Linda. Four days before that incident, 2-year-old Omar Abo-Shadi was found in a spa at a Placentia home. Two weeks ago, 3-year-old Xavier Ergueta drowned at a beach club in Rancho Santa Margarita.
My thoughts and prayers are with all these families that lost their children in these tragic accidents. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
What Caused This Tragic Incident?
Based on this news report of the most recent incident in Irvine, it appears that the child not only had a caregiver watching her at the time, but that there were also lifeguards watching the pool. Who dropped the ball here? What was the caregiver doing when the child “disappeared”? Why did it take 10 minutes for them to find the girl? Why were the lifeguards unable to rescue her? These are all questions that must be asked and answered in order to determine what occurred here and who was at fault.
Fault and Liability
Time and time again, we see that these types of tragic swimming pool and drowning incidents could have been prevented with proper supervision. When children are in and around the water, it is imperative that at least one person is assigned to monitor them. The person in charge of watching the child should be constantly watching the water and the children to ensure that they are safe. Talking on the phone, being distracted by a conversation with someone else or going to the restroom can have devastating consequences. Drowning often occurs silently within a matter of seconds.
In this particular case, if the lifeguards are determined to have been negligent, they and their employer can be held liable for the child’s wrongful death. The caregiver can also be held accountable. In such cases, victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who has experience successfully handling swimming pool accident cases.