California Pool Drain Laws

hot tub in california

Vibrant and beautiful eleven year-old Virginia Graeme Baker (goes by Graeme) and her sisters attended a swim party at a friend’s house during the summer of 2002.  During the party, Graeme was found sprawled at the bottom of the hot tub.  Graeme’s mother tried to pull her up from the water with all of her strength, but to no avail.  Two men took over and broke the drain pipe in order to release her body.  Graeme’s body was held down by the spa’s suction drain providing her no release.  Graeme died upon arrival at the hospital.  Graeme was no ordinary girl, she was the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III.  Her accidental death lead to the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Safety and Spa Safety Act of 2007.  This Federal Law requires that all public pools/spas be equipped with specific equipment that is intended to prevent pool/spa deaths or injuries caused by entrapment, evisceration or entanglement, i.e. ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 standards.

Suction drains can hold children down by their hair, body, limb, bathing suits and even jewelry.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission has found numerous swimming pool/spa suction entrapment accidents over the years leading to serious injury and death.  It is unfortunate that it took the death of a beautiful seven-year-old girl to bring the matter to the public and to create safety laws.

Unfortunately, there are many public pools/spas that are not in compliance with these new safety standards.  Many of those pools/spas are located in Northern California.  Furthermore, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently interpreted the 2007 law to not require back-up anti-entrapment systems in many as 150,000 public and hotel pools/spas.  This has created some outrage by parents with children affected by pool/spa suction accidents.

Next time you let your children swim in a pool or a spa (especially one in a hotel or motel), be sure to check the suction drains and make sure they are ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 compliant.  It could be a matter of life or death.

Recent Blog Posts

  • commercial trucks on highway

    Vicarious Liability Torts in Commercial Truck Accidents

    If a negligent driver causes a commercial truck accident, the trucking company can be burdened with vicarious liability torts. The company can be held liable for the driver’s negligence under the legal tenet known as respondeat superior, a Latin phrase that translates as “let the superior make the response.” This concept transfers the truck driver’s […]

    Read More
  • california fire possibly caused by utility company under strict liability

    3 Fascinating Strict Liability Tort Cases in Sacramento

    Tort liability in personal injury cases is most often based on acts of negligence, but there are exceptions. Sometimes the responsible party is held to the strict liability tort standard, meaning that a finding of negligence or malicious intent is not required. The most common types of strict liability tort cases are based on: Product […]

    Read More
  • student injured at school - parents suing for negligence

    Suing a School for Negligence: What You Need to Know

    A negligence-based lawsuit against a school can have unique complications, depending on the type of institution it is. Overall, teachers, school administrators, and other staff have a “duty of care,” meaning they must take reasonable steps to avoid and prevent circumstances likely to cause personal injury to a student. Some reasons you might want to […]

    Read More
  • Sacramento Office
  • 333 University Avenue, Suite 200
  • Sacramento, CA
  • (916) 756-0772
  • Roseville Office
  • 1544 Eureka Road, Suite 120
  • Roseville, CA
  • (916) 788-1960
  • Oakland Office
  • 1300 Clay St, Suite 600
  • Oakland, CA
  • (510) 962-4610

© 2019 Frank Penney Injury Lawyers, Serving the Areas of Sacramento, Roseville, Fairfield, Modesto, Stockton & Oakland California