So this is how it begins in 2013… I was so sad to read on WESH.com that the 13-year old Missouri boy who was found at the bottom of a swimming pool at the Disney Pop Century Resort was pronounced dead. Of course it is always tragic whenever a child is lost. The loss of a child is probably the most devastating experience that a family can go through. As an Orlando accident attorney who handles child drowning cases, I fear that this is only the beginning of the tragedies that we’ll see in Central Florida this year with drowning accidents. In our experience, drowning accidents are almost always preventable. In a typical residential drowning case, invariably access to the pool is the issue. Someone has usually left a sliding door or gate unlocked, and a small child has made his or her way into the pool area. Sometimes it is attractive pool toys left in plain sight of a toddler, and the toys are just too tempting. A resort pool drowning is a bit more unusual. Most of the large resorts, and particularly the ones run by the theme parks such as Walt Disney World or Universal Studios, feature life guards on duty throughout the day. I know that there is a lifeguard stand in place at the Pop Century pool. The story on WESH.com failed to mention any involvement, or even the existence of a lifeguard at the Pop Century Resort at the time of this child’s drowning, but a separate media outlet reported that the child had been swimming after lifeguards had already gone home for the day. As we are currently in prime Spring Break vacation time here in Florida, and there are a huge number of kids wanting to use the swimming pools, I wonder if lifeguards should have been left on duty until later in the evening. Hopefully this family from Missouri has received satisfactory answers from Walt Disney World on this issue. As a father of four children myself, I cannot imagine what they are going through. If you have any questions regarding a Florida drowning accident or wrongful death, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...Read More »
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