A few months ago, a child drowned at the bottom of a hot tub in Encino, California. Now, the family of the six year old boy is suing the rental property management group, the owner of the home, and Pentair Aquatics Systems, the manufacturer of the pump that entrapped the boy.
The event occurred in November of 2016 when Thomas Catog Rozmiarek was playing outside with his twin sibling and cousin. The other two children went back into the house, and Thomas' mother continued to watch him from the window. When she noticed that he had disappeared, she rushed outside to investigate and found him at the bottom of the hot tub.
After she discovered him, she reportedly screamed for help and her cousin, a nurse, came and tried to pull him from the water. Tragically, his hand was caught in a suction pump at the bottom which prevented her, and the two women then used buckets to bail water out of the hot tub in order to uncover the boy.
According to the lawsuit, the mother and her cousin were able to extract the boy and begin to perform CPR on him before firefighters came. The paramedics then managed to restore his breathing and heart rate by the time they reached Providence Tarzana Medical Center, but Thomas was pronounced dead at 1:13 am that night.
The family of the boy are now suing for premises liability and negligence as well as product liability. They say that the owner of the home and the property manager should have installed a cover over the spa drain to prevent an accident such as this one from occurring. The lawsuit states that “Thomas went underwater, in the vicinity of the spa drain, and his arm was sucked into the drain. Thomas could not pull himself off of the drain because of the strong suction.”
The case argues furthermore that this situation would never had occurred if the makers of the Pentair Interfilio pump had installed a safety vacuum release system on the unit. The manufacturers had developed the technology and the lawsuit states that the financial burden of adding such a mechanism ““is not substantial and pales in comparison to the life-saving benefits of SVRS,”
Pentair Aquatic Systems does not believe that it should be held responsible for the death. Rather, they think that the lack of drain cover, was to blame, which was the responsibility of the homeowner, Brian Duffy, and the property management group, Rodeo Realty. After they were named in the lawsuit, they released a statement which read, “From what we understand, the protective spa drain cover had been removed and a properly fitting protective drain cover was not securely in place at the time of the accident. It appears that it was the missing drain cover, and not Pentair's product, which caused this accident.”
When tragedies such as these occur, often there are multiple factors that contributed to the event, and it is important to explore all angles before filing a suit. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed on another person's property or by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal today at (303) 825-2223 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.