The Dangers of Swimming Pool Drains

Personal Injury lawyer Harrisonburg VA

the Dangers of Swimming Pool DrainsWhen the swimming pool comes calling this summer, it is important to remember that although there are hours of fun that can be had, a pool presents a very real danger to those in and around it.  A body of water alone can be hazardous and it is commonly known that a person can drown in just inches of water. But drain entrapment is a danger that many homeowners are still not aware of or realize that a simple fix can help avoid a serious tragedy.

According to statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the majority of victims in these drain entrapment accidents (in pools, hot tubs, and whirlpools) are children under the age of 16. Horrific injuries and death have occurred in perfectly preventable situations.

If negligence was present in these circumstances and a death or catastrophic injury resulted, litigating these types of cases requires the expertise of an experienced Harrisonburg VA personal injury lawyer. At MartinWren, P.C., we have extensive legal experience representing victims of premises liability accidents. If you or a family member has been injured, contact our firm to find out how we can help.

The three primary scenarios where entrapment occurs are:

  •                     Where a person is held to the drain by the suction force
  •                     When there are missing, removed or poorly attached outlet covers
  •                     When a person gets caught on the outlet cover

Limb and body entrapment occurs when areas such as arms, legs, feet, shoulders, abdomen, back, or hip are sucked or inserted into an open sump or pipe. All too common is when hair, articles of clothing, jewelry, or appendages such as fingers and toes, become caught in an outlet cover.

The most serious and often fatal entrapment of what is known as “evisceration/disembowelment.” This occurs when suction is applied directly to the intestines, such as when a child sits on an open sump in a wading pool. Children as young as three have been treated for prolapsed rectums from this type of entrapment accident.

Federal Legislation

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, named for a seven-year-old girl who died after being entrapped in a hot tub drain, was signed into federal law in 2007. It specifies that compliant drain covers are to be used and the required presence of a safety vacuum release system in the case of an emergency. Instead of one main drain, one or more unblockable drains to spread the suction across all drains are required.

As always, adult supervision is crucial, but children should be well versed about the dangers of drain entanglement and entrapment and be taught to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets. If an entrapment accident has occurred and you require the skills of a personal injury lawyer Harrisonburg VA clients recommend to assess your case, contact MartinWren, P.C. today. You may have a viable case and be entitled to a monetary award for your injuries.

Contact Our Virginia Lawyers

We serve clients throughout Virginia — from Charlottesville and Central Virginia to metropolitan Richmond; Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley to Roanoke; and the cities of Hampton Roads to the Northern Virginia cities of  Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington.

To speak with one of our attorneys, please call us at (434) 817-3100.

Our Virginia personal injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. have a statewide practice and offer free consultations at a time and location that is convenient for you.  We will gladly meet with you at your home or at the hospital, even on nights and weekends.


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