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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

Unexplained drowning of 3 leaves investigators baffled.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009

Pine Hills Florida.  Three people drown, two girls, 15 and 12 and one adult who tried to save them in Pine Hills.  The girls had gone into the pool but did allegedly not know how to swim.  It is unknown what started their distress.  I presume that if the girls did not know how to swim, that they would have remained in the shallow end.

Many lifeguard safety classes teach the danger a drowning swimmer can pose to a  rescuer.  No details of the drowning or investigation have been released.

An inspection by the Orange County Health Department reported no safety violations.  That led to several newspapers declaring that the pool was safe.  There is a big difference between a safety violation and a safe pool.  Until further investigation, interview of witnesses and other conclusions can be reached, a cause related to the pool cannot be ruled out.

As an example, as personal injury attorneys, we have represented drowning victims and their families.  One area overlooked in a safety inspection on one of our cases was the lighting/electrical bulb in the pool.  While a safety inspection found the pool to be safe, our inspection found an electrical shock would occur if the swimmer touched the light bulb.  We were able to demonstrate that our clients’ child, who could swim, must have touched the light, because he was found in the deep end of the pool without any explanation of his death.

It is too early to declare the pool is safe.  I would recommend that the family hire an expert or attorney to fully investigate the deaths and determine, before any repairs can be made, why these girls suddenly found themselves in jeopardy.

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