Plaintiff’s decedent, M age 6, was playing with his siblings and a 5 year-old girl outside the front of the apartment his mother and stepfather had leased from Defendant, two weeks earlier. Although the children were instructed by their mother to stay in front of the apartment building, Plaintiff’s decedent, his 4 year-old brother and the 5 year-old girl left the vicinity and walked within the fenced apartment complex.
Behind the last apartment building they came upon a pool which either the Plaintiff’s decedent nor his parents knew existed. Said pool was enclosed by a fence and a gate which was supposed to be chained and locked. However, the lock had been cut off earlier at the direction of Defendant by his workers who had been unable to find the key. Rather than replace the lock, Defendant instructed his workers to merely wrap the chain around the gate. As the pool had not been opened for use or maintained since the end of 2002, it had partially filled with black septic water to a depth of 5 feet in the deep end which normally would be filled to a depth of 9 feet. The shallow end was totally empty. The depth and opaqueness of the water in the deep end prevented visualizing that it had steep inclines on all sides which had become covered in slime which would severely impede anyone who might try to get out of the pool. Additionally, multiple debris, such as leaves, garbage cans and equipment were hidden beneath the surface of the pool by the water’s lack of clarity. Apparently, the children entered the pool area and subsequently the 5 year old neighbor girl walked into the empty shallow end of the pool by way of the concrete steps. She thereafter allegedly was caused to slip on the slime covered concrete incline, where the deep and shallow ends met, causing her to not only fall into the water, but also to be unable to extricate herself. Upon seeing this, Plaintiff’s decedent went to her aid and pulled her from the water. However, in so doing, he was himself caused to fall into the deep end of the pool from which he was unable to escape. Within minutes, a tenant in the adjacent building, who heard the commotion, entered the pool in an attempt to rescue Plaintiff’s decedent. However, he was unable to locate his body due to the condition of the water and being further hampered by debris and poor footing.
Ultimately Plaintiff’s decedent was found by paramedics who likewise were severely impeded in their rescue efforts resulting in his being submerged for over fifteen minutes. He was rushed to Christ Hospital suffering from severe anoxic encephalopathy where he remained in intensive care for seven days until his death.
Comments: Policy limits of $1,000,000.00