Most everyone is aware of the risks of drowning in a pool, and of the safety precautions required for any pool open for public use. However, people may not be aware of the similar risks and necessary precautions of hot tubs, since hot tubs are generally shallow and have built-in seats. However, hot tubs can be dangerous and have unexpected hazards. Because people are usually not aware of these hazards, they are often not prepared when an emergency happens. If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a hot tub, you may have a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Make sure you call an experienced Peachtree City accident lawyer today.
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act
At only seven years old, Virginia Graeme was an accomplished swimmer because she was a longtime member of the community swim team. However, in 2002, Graeme was in a low-depth hot tub and became stuck to a drain cover at the bottom of the tub. Due to the extreme suction, her mother could not release her and it took two men to free her, but by then it was too late as she had drowned. After Virginia's tragic death, her parents lobbied Congress and were able to pass the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, which in 2007 was signed into law by the president. The Act mandated new safety standards for all hot tub and pool drains, specifically requiring that all drains must be equipped with one of the following:
- gravity drainage system
- safety vacuum release system
- suction-limiting vent system
- drain disablement
- automatic pump shut off system
- or another device or system approved by the safety commission.
The Act also includes other requirements for hot tub covers and barriers around pools to keep unoccupied children out. Many municipalities who run public pools with hot tubs, or owners who have hot tubs in apartment complexes or hotels, may not know of the new standards mandated by the Act. However, hot tub owners and municipalities have a duty to stay educated on the latest safety laws. If they fail to comply, even if they did not know about the Act, they could be held liable for resulting injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died because of unsafe hot tub conditions that did not meet regulatory standards, call a Peachtree City accident attorney to inquire about a wrongful death or personal injury claim. Call Shane Smith Law today at (770) 487-8999 for a free consultation.