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Are Louisianans responsible for injuries in their backyard pool?

Summer is here, and that means more people in Louisiana will be spending time in their backyard pools. Whether it is simply having the neighborhood children over for a swim or whether a homeowner is hosting a pool party for people of all ages, it is important to remember that swimming pools present hazards. A person could fall on a slippery pool deck, injure themselves in a diving accident or even drown. When accidents like this happen, the victims or their families may wonder if the homeowner can be held liable in a premises liability claim.

Private pool owners are liable for injuries others suffer in their pool, even if the pool owner is present and supervising the activity. For example, pool owners need to ensure they do not provide their guests with too much alcohol and they must ensure the pool conditions are safe and in good repair. However, if it can be shown that the pool owner was negligent in some way, a private pool owner can be held responsible for accidents that take place in their pools even if they are not home at the time and did not invite the accident victim to use the pool.

This is especially significant when it comes to children, because a pool can be considered an "attractive nuisance." An attractive nuisance is a property feature that is so enticing that children cannot help being drawn it. This means that the homeowner has a special duty to stop children from accessing their pool.

If a pool owner fails to take the necessary measures to keep children from trespassing and using their pool when they are not around, this could be a breach of the pool owner's duty of care. If this breach leads the child to suffer an injury, then the homeowner may be liable. Of course, any premises liability claim can be complex, and this post cannot serve as the basis for any legal filing. Those injured at a private pool will want to seek the legal guidance necessary to determine if they can pursue a premises liability claim.

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Tauzin & Lorio, Attorneys at Law
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Lafayette, LA 70508

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