The Law Goes Only So Far

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Q: One summer day during a black-out, my friends and I were hanging out at the municipal in-ground pool – swimming, cannon-balling, jack-knifing and horsing around with a black inner tube. Jack took a dive, and his head went too far down After coming to grips with what had happened, we decided that the ‘show must go on’. Jill walked carefully down the middle of the diving board. Tragically, she slipped from the side and fell. The next day, it was reported that the middle was smooth, slippery and worn; the usual black tread and nonskid materials were missing Despite all this, Jimmy and I preferred to stay at the pool rather than to go inside. After an hour, we made up our minds to be active again, but to use only the pool slide. First, Jimmy went down in a seated position. Next, he made a headfirst belly-slide. Then, I held an inner tube flat on the water, and Jimmy put his body through it. Squeezed into the inner tube, Jimmy made a second headfirst belly-slide that was unsuccessful.

A: No matter how much the human heart may sympathize, the law can go only so far as its rules permit. Results for swimming-pool accidents vary. Jill’s case especially is a strong one, but the other two are particularly susceptible to the doctrine called ‘primary assumption of risk’. Under this doctrine, a participant in a sporting activity consents to those commonly appreciated risks that are inherent in, and arise out of the nature of, the sport generally and flow from such participation. Sifting through the facts of each case, the lawyer must guide the victim and his or her family accordingly.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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