Can I Be Held Liable If A Child Drowns In My Pool?

You may be surprised to find out that the responsibility of avoiding swimming pool injuries extends to trespassers. A pool owner can be held liable under certain conditions for injuries to someone who entered their pool without permission. But can I be held liable if a child drowns in my pool?


Why Pool Owners Can Be Liable For Trespasser Injuries

A pool is considered an attractive nuisance because it can entice children onto the property, where they are then at risk. A property owner can be held liable in the following situations:

The property owner knows the pool is there

The property owner knows children are likely to trespass to the property because of the pool

Children do not realize the risk because of their young age

The pool causes unreasonable risk of serious harm or death to children

The obligation of the owner to protect against injury are minor, compared with the risk to young children who could be injured

Pool owners can be held accountable if they don’t take proper precautions to protect a trespassing child from being injured or drowning in their pool.


What California Requires Pool Owners To Do

The California Department of Public Health provides details from The California Swimming Pool Safety Act, which imposes very strict rules on swimming pool safety. For example, pools have to be enclosed by fences, walls, portions of buildings, or other approved durable enclosures that have to be at last five feet high. There can’t be gaps or holes greater than four inches in the enclosure, and it must be designed so children cannot readily climb it.


A swimming pool owner who fails to comply with safety regulations is presumed negligent and can be held liable for any resulting injuries to children. If a trespasser has been injured on your property, call Jacoby & Meyers at (888) 522-6291.

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