December 11, 2012 jamesludlow

Although no one favors more lawsuits, there are times when only a lawsuit will provide the necessary motivation for a corporation or governmental entity to do the right thing.

A case is point is a lawsuit that I recently concluded against an aquatic center in Plainfield, Indiana for injuries that a client suffered when he fell onto a short narrow concrete wall that separated two areas of an indoor pool.  One area of the pool was only a few inches deep and was designed for small children.   However, the pool area on the opposite side of this wall was 4 feet deep, and there were no signs that warned of this abrupt change in depth.

As my adult client had never been to this pool before, he did not realize that there was such a significant difference in depth between these two areas and stepped over this short narrow wall.  Because one foot couldn’t touch bottom, he fell onto this wall sustaining what is known as a straddle type injury.  As a consequence, my client sustained a severe injury to his urethra that prevented him from urinating.  As this medical condition could eventually cause a bladder rupture, my client had to undergo a complicated surgery to reconstruct his urethra.

While accidents can happen even with the best of care, what I found disturbing regarding this case was that there had been two other significant injuries that had occurred before my client’s fall when someone attempted to step over the narrow wall from the shallow pool area into the adjacent deeper pool area, and yet no corrective action had been taken by the aquatic center to investigate these incidents and consider corrective action — until a lawsuit was filed in my client’s case.

I also discovered during this lawsuit that Indiana state public pool safety regulations actually do require the presence of a physical barrier between these two pool areas to prevent the exact type of injury that my client suffered.  Somehow, the management of this aquatic center had overlooked the requirements of this law. However, after this lawsuit, a proper rope barrier was erected that should prevent this type of pool accident from ever happening again.

So why did it take a lawsuit to make the aquatic center take these corrective changes despite two other people being hurt in the same way as my client?  Perhaps the reason is that neither of the two other individuals made a legal claim for their injuries.  Consequently, those prior pool accidents cost the aquatic center nothing, other than the time to fill out a two page accident report.

However, my client’s lawsuit resulted in a settlement of $122,500 plus some negative publicity from a local newspaper that wrote an article about the settlement.  Perhaps the old saying is true that “pain can be an excellent teacher.”
If you are seeking compensation after an accident that resulted in a serious injury, contact James Ludlow, Attorney at Law toll-free at (877) 897-9466.