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Pittsburgh premises liability: Siblings die in neighbor's pool

It doesn't take much water to drown. That's one reason why parenting experts in Pittuburgh and the rest of Pennsylvania remind parents not to leave their children unattended in a tub of just a couple of inches of water. Even those youngsters over toddler age aren't really safe.

The same cautions are urged when a homeowner happens to have a pool. Unfortunately, not all property owners take the necessary precautions to make sure that they aren't playing host to hazardous conditions. The unfortunate result of that negligence can be injury or sometimes even death.

That appears to be what is to blame in the deaths of a couple of children in New York this past Sunday. Authorities say a 5-year-old boy and his 7-year-old sister were found drowned in the mucky water of a neighbor's above ground pool. The outside temperature was only about 50.

According to police, the children had been reported missing by their mother at about 3:30 in the afternoon. When officers arrived, they began searching the neighborhood. One officer spotted a shoe in the neighbor's uncovered pool. The water was black and perhaps four feet deep. Officers jumped in and found the unconscious bodies of the two children.

How the children got to the pool is not clear. Authorities say the fencing around the pool is not up to required standards. It's only about four feet high and officials say it would be easy to climb over, even for children. They say the owner of the property had been cited before because of the issue.

Stories about the events of the incident don't indicate whether authorities might be considering the pressing of any criminal charges against the owner of the property.

Source: NBC News, "Brother, sister drown in neighbor's uncovered pool," The Associated Press, April 14, 2013

  • Issues discussed in this post are among those we address in our practice. To learn more about our service, readers may wish to visit our Pittsburgh dangerous property page.

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