Articles Posted in Premises Liability

In Oregon, a Multnomah County jury has awarded the family of an Oregon family $560,000 for injuries sustained by a toddler who fell head first from the second-story duplex that her family was renting in Gresham. The girl, Isabella White, cracked her skull, suffered brain tissue loss, and experienced bleeding in her brain when her head struck the concrete pavement in April 2007. The Oregon premises liability defendants in the case were Keys Rental Management and Keys Rental Holding Co. Only the management company was found liable.

Isabella is now 4, but she was just 2 ½ when the fall accident happened. She fell through a window after her mother had opened it and the window screen gave way.

During the premises liability trial, the family’s Oregon personal injury lawyer argued that the apartment management company should have warned Isabella’s parents that the window in the duplex—just 23 inches off the ground—was a potential injury hazard for kids. Their lawyer also accused the defendant of failing to install safety devices, such as a child-safe screen, that could have prevented Isabella’s fall accident.

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act has finally gone into effect. The new law mandates that all public pools and spas be fitted with a federally approved anti-entrapment drain or grate cover to prevent people from getting caught by the suction and drowning. Children are especially at high risk of suffering a fatal injury when getting caught in a swimming pool, wading pool, or hot tub drain.

The law is named after the granddaughter of former US Secretary of State James Baker. Virginia, 7, drowned in 2002 after she sat on the floor drain of a hot tub. Her mother, Nancy Baker, tried to pull her daughter from the drain but to no avail.

Last March, 6-year-old Abigail Taylor died nearly nine months after the suction from a wading pool drain pulled out part of her intestinal tract. She had to undergo liver, small bowel, and pancreas transplants and suffered complications before her death.

The design of the approved dome shaped drain covers should keep the human body from being suctioned by a pool or hot tub drain. Schools, recreational centers, hotels, health clubs, and apartments are among those affected by the new law. Some pool owners and managers, however, are complaining that drain manufacturers have not been able to keep up with the demand for these federally approved designs, which is making it harder for compliance to occur. Hopefully, these drains should be in place in spas and pools throughout Oregon when the hot weather returns.

Pool Entrapment Accidents
According to Safe Kids USA, about 100 children in the United States sustained serious injuries and at least 33 children younger than 14 died because of entrapment by a pool or spa drain between 1985 and 2004. Serious personal injuries can include body entrapment, massive internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, drowning, and wrongful death.

If you or your child was seriously injured in a pool entrapment accident, you may have grounds to file an Oregon premises liability claim or products liability lawsuit against the liable party.

New Federal Pool Safety Law to Take Effect, KOHD, December 11, 2008
Pool drain safety covers required today, but supply is backlogged, Sacramento Bee, December 20, 2008
Federal drain law forces pool closings, Boston Herald, January 5, 2008
Related Web Resource:
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (PDF)

Continue reading

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says auto accidents and fall accidents are the leading causes of accidental teen and child injuries and deaths in this country.

Facts included in the CDC’s report:

• 9.2 million teenagers and children a year are treated in US emergency rooms for accidental injuries.
• 2.8 million teens and young kids are injured in fall accidents annually.
• Over 50% of the nonfatal injuries involving kids younger than 1 occurred during fall accidents.
• About 8,000 minors are killed each year in traffic accidents as pedestrians, vehicle occupants, and pedalcyclists.
• 12,175 people under age 20 die in the US every year because of accidental injuries.
• Approximately 20 kids die every day because of an injury that could have been prevented.
• Some 20 million kids and young adults sustain injuries each year that limit their activity and require medical care.

Leading causes of injury deaths, according to age group:

• Infants – suffocation
• Ages 1 to 4 – drowning
• Ages 5 to 19 – traffic crashes
In addition to fall accidents, other leading causes of nonfatal injuries to kids include:

• Animal bites
• Insect bites
• Getting hit by or falling against an object
Children in the 1 – 4 age group were most likely to suffer nonfatal injuries in fall accidents or due to accidental poisoning. According to CDC Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention Director Grant Baldwin, many of these injuries can be predicted and are preventable.

Many times, these injuries occur while a child or teen is engaged in everyday activities, such as riding in a car, walking to school, or swimming in the neigborhood pool. Such injuries are often caused by reckless motor vehicle drivers, careless property owners, negligent product manufacturers, careless dog owners, or other responsible parties.

Car Crashes, Falls Top List of Accidental Injuries for Kids, US News, December 10, 2008
Childhood Injury Report, CDC
Related Web Resources:

Children Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, NHTSA (PDF)

World Health Organization

Continue reading

50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor Portland, OR 97204 Telephone: (503) 226-3844 Fax: (503) 943-6670 Email:
map image