Child Dies in Hot-Tub Suction Entrapment

A 7-year-old girl was swimming with her twin sister and numerous other children in a spa/hot tub that was attached to a swimming pool. The spa had a flat drain cover over the drain and the child buttocks covered the drain and she became suction entrapped to the drain cover. It was estimated that the entrapping suction force was approximately 700 lbs/sq. in. Two adult males were finally able to remove the child from the drain cover only after the cover itself broke. The pool and spa industry has been aware of the risks of suction entrapment for many years and has had the technology available to severely limit, if not eliminate this risk to individuals, especially children. Sickels, Frei and Mims brought action against the pump manufacturer and the manufacturers of the drain cover. Although the amount of settlement is confidential, it was a favorable result for our clients.

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