1-year-old Drowns in Apartment Complex Retention Pond
Burman, Critton, Luttier and Coleman LLP Blog
Recently, a child tragically drowned in a retention pond behind an apartment complex in Jacksonville, Florida. In South Florida, there are literally hundreds of similar bodies of water. In fact, many of you live near these retention ponds. Last year, a similar incident occurred in Wellington, Florida when a child wandered away from home and drowned in a nearby body of water that was not protected by a fence or gate.
Did you know that Florida law requires swimming pool owners to have a fence or barrier around the pool in order to protect others – most importantly children? Florida Statute Section 515.29 requires the barrier around a pool to be at least 4 feet high.
Interestingly, Florida has never enacted a similar law requiring a barrier around retention ponds, or other unprotected bodies of water. The unprotected bodies of water result in numerous injuries and deaths to our children every year. Nevertheless, the law will impose a duty on a landowner to protect a body of water. Each injury or death is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The relevant factors include, but are not limited to:
- whether children are known to frequent the area;
- whether there have been similar occurrences involving injury or a death in the past;
- whether the body of water qualifies as an "Attractive Nuisance" under Florida law; and
- whether the owner of the complex has knowledge that children frequent the area.
When a family loses a child as a result of drowning, the family needs an experienced law firm to handle this very unique type case. Most of the time, the family will face a large insurance company that will attempt to bully the victims.
At Burman, Critton, Luttier & Coleman, we will assist to maximize a recovery and protect your rights. Your trusted advocates at Burman, Critton, Luttier & Coleman are highly experienced courtroom attorneys who have handled claims identical to the ones outlined above. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of someone else';s negligent act, please contact us at 561-842-2820 to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our attorneys.