Miami Spa Pool Entrapment Attorneys
Suction entrapment cases involve a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, or hot tub’s faulty water circulation system. More specifically, these defective or unsafe devices create a suction force that entraps individuals, mostly children, underneath the water—entrapping them at the drain. As a result, victims suffer serious injuries, including permanent brain injuries, evisceration, and in some cases, death. These accidents are usually classified under one of the following five categories:
- Body Entrapment- When an individual’s body (i.e., shoulder, upper arm, abdomen, back, or hip) is entrapped at the suction point. Furthermore, incidents that cannot be classified under the other classifications are normally then defined as body entrapments.
- Limb Entrapment- Involves a limb (i.e., arms, hands, legs, or feet) being inserted or pulled into an open pipe or hole.
- Mechanical Entrapment– When a person’s clothing, jewelry, fingers, or toes become caught in the drain.
- Hair Entrapment- These cases normally involve female victims and are the result of the victim’s hair becoming entangled or entrapped in a suction outlet.
- Evisceration/Disembowelment Entrapment- When the suction is applied directly to the person’s intestines. Children are overwhelmingly the victims of these accidents, which usually occur when the child sits on an open drain or suction point.
Spa Pool Entrapment Statistics
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (“CPSC”) most recent report, the Commission is “aware of 33 victims of circulation entrapments.” The 33 incidents took place during 2009-2013. In its 2012 report, which accounted for the 1999-2011 period, the CPSC noted that suction entrapments were responsible for the injuries sustained by 106 victims, which included 12 fatalities. Furthermore, just in 2005, the CPSC released that it has reports of more than 700 deaths in spas and hot tubs dating back to 1980. Perhaps the most alarming fact is that these statistics only represent the victims which the CPSC is aware of and incidents that occurred in the United States. Thus, the CPSC’s reports do not account for the lives that have been lost abroad as a result of these defective devices.
In addition to the CPSC’s shocking statistics and this tragic case, our firm has independently researched the history of suction entrapment cases—compiling data that spans as far back as 1973. In order to protect the identities of some of the victims involved, we’ve redacted any identifying information.
About the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act
These suction entrapment cases involve always involve the well-being of loved ones, and more often than not, the lives of our children. Despite the fact that these incidents date as far back as 1973, measures aimed at addressing the faulty devices (i.e., drain covers) that lead to suction entrapment were only recently signed into law. Specifically, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act was signed into law by the President in December 2007.
The Act was named after Virginia Graeme Baker, granddaughter of former Secretary of State, James Baker III, who drowned as a result of suction entrapment in a hot tub. At the tender age of seven, Graeme was in a hot tub when she became stuck to its drain and was unable to break free from the suction’s force. By the time two men were able to free her from the drain’s force—it was already too late. After Graeme’s death, her mother, Nancy Baker, devoted herself to getting a law passed that banned the faulty devices that were the cause of these horrific accidents. Important findings noted in the Act include:
- Of injury-related deaths, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 14 in the United States.
- In 2004, 761 children aged 14 and under died as a result if unintentional drowning.
- Adult supervision at all aquatic venues is a critical safety factor in preventing children from drowning.
- Research studies show that the installation and proper use of barriers of fencing, as well as additional layers of protection, can substantially reduce the number of childhood residential swimming pool drownings and near drownings.
In addition to factual findings, the Act also provides for federal swimming pool and spa drain cover standards. Insofar as the drain cover standards, the law requires that swimming pool or spa drain cover(s) manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United States shall conform to the entrapment protection standards outlined within the Act. Moreover, the Act mandates that public pools be equipped with “anti-entrapment devices or system,” such as a “safety vacuum release system.” Despite these compelling statistics and existing laws, these preventable tragedies continue to occur.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today With Our Spa & Pool Entrapment Attorneys
You can schedule a free consultation with Brais Law Firm in our main office located in Miami. Our spa and pool entrapment attorneys have more than 75 years of collective experience. We encourage you to review our Results page to see the outcome of similar cases.
Please schedule your consultation by calling 888-238-5637. Don’t forget that all of our cases are on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe us no fees unless we recover compensation for you.