Exploding Swimming Pool Filter
Exploding Swimming Pool Filter Injury Lawyer in Sacramento
Swimming pools are supposed to provide enjoyment and recreational activity during warm spring and summer days. Many swimming pools across Sacramento, and the rest of California, are utilized by families. This is why it is so concerning to realize that swimming pool filters may pose a serious risk to the health and safety of you and your loved ones.Defective Swimming Pool Filters are Causing Major Harm
A defective swimming pool filter has the potential to seriously injure or kill you or a loved one because it operates under pressure and is capable of exploding. Because of the compressed air within the pool filter, the filter top can be forcibly launched over one hundred feet in the air.
The types of injuries suffered by families in California and other states from defective pool filters include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries — When a pool filter explodes, it propels hundreds of sharp, and potentially deadly, pieces of the filter into the air. If a piece collides with your head, you can sustain significant, debilitating brain damage. If you are in the pool when this happens, you could become unconscious and be submerged underwater for an extended period of time. This disrupts the flow of oxygen to your brain resulting in a serious brain injury.
- Head Trauma — In addition to brain damage, a shard of pool filter sent hurtling towards your head can cause a serious skull fracture or contusion.
- Nerve Damage — An exploding pool filter piece can sever nerves and tendons when the pieces are sharp and jagged. A severed nerve can lead to permanent loss of feeling in an arm, leg, or other body part.
- Lacerations – An exploding pool filter piece can cause permanent disfigurement. For example, a piece of the filter could wind up hitting your eye and causing blindness or could hit your face causing permanent scarring.
- Death – There have been cases where a pool filter exploded causing people to sustain injuries so severe that they died as a result.
A pool filter is generally comprised of a two-piece tank. This tank has a top and a bottom. There is a fastener that secures the top and the bottom to prevent the top from blowing off. Different pool filters have different fasteners. For example, some filters feature fasteners with bolts to ensure a strong connection. Other filters feature fasteners that are basically a clamp. In many instances, the filters with a fastener clamp fail and allow the pool filter top to explode with incredible force.
Other types of pool filters feature an automatic air relief valve designed to release air trapped inside the filter so it does not explode. However, there have been reports of these air relief valves failing and letting entrapped air pressurize the filter. As a result, the filter can explode causing significant injuries and death. Multiple pool filter manufacturers continue to design these filters so they can be taken apart in order to clean the elements and can then be put back together with the top part sitting on the bottom half, secured by a large fastening ring. This flawed design presents a serious safety hazard when the top part of the pool filter is not seated perfectly on the bottom part of the filter. If the top part is not perfectly seated, a consumer or pool maintenance worker may mistakenly think the filter is safe to use, but is actually a threat to their health and safety due to the risk of explosion.
In many instances, the pool filter will get turned on and while you or a loved one is standing over the filter watching the air pressure gauge to make sure everything is working correctly, pressure builds up and the top of the filter explodes.
Major swimming pool equipment companies that manufacture pool filters include Anthony Industries, Anthony Pools, Pac-Fab, Sta-Rite, Voss, R.G. Ray Co., Pentair, and KDI American Products. One manufacturer of a pool filter with a potentially defective fastener has had over eighty-five injuries or deaths reported from exploding filters.Example of Exploding Pool Filter Injury
A woman was preparing the swimming pool for her family’s first summer living in a brand new house. The woman had a pool at her previous home so she had a background in maintaining a pool. However, she was unfamiliar with the two-part filter system that was used in the pool in her new home. She took apart the filter to clean the component pieces. She then reassembled it in accordance with the user manual. When she turned the filter on, she stood by to monitor the air pressure gauge. Unfortunately, the filter exploded causing the top to blow off, hitting her in the face. This caused her to become completely blind and left her with severe brain trauma. Imagine, in the blink of an eye, this woman’s life was changed forever.Pool Filter Recalls
Exploding pool filters have become such a serious safety issue that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled nearly nine thousand filters manufactured by Sta-Rite and AquaTools because the fasteners on these filters are capable of disengaging from the lower tank shell, allowing the top shell of the filter to blow off.Safety Precaution
If you are purchasing a home with a pool, or having a pool installed in your backyard, try to avoid the two-piece split ring pool filter design. If your pool has this filter design, an important safety precaution is to never stand near the filter when you turn the pool pump back on after opening the filter and re-attaching the top with the fastener. Furthermore, never place your head or your body in the vicinity of the filter while the pump is on where the filter could potentially hit you if there was an explosion of the top off of the base.How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
As discussed above, a pool filter explosion can cause horrendous, life-threatening injuries. If you or a loved one was the victim of a pool filter explosion you should focus on recovering from your injuries. The prospect of negotiating with a claims representative or a defense attorney for a large pool manufacturer is likely intimidating and overwhelming to consider. This is perfectly understandable and why you should retain the services of an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney. A lawyer can take the burden off your shoulders and keep track of multiple filing deadlines and represent your interests when negotiating with defense counsel.
A defective product personal injury lawsuit enables you to pursue financial restitution for your harms and losses. This includes both economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Incurred medical expenses (e.g., emergency room treatment, ambulance bill, etc.)
- Future medical expenses (e.g., future rehabilitative treatment or surgeries)
- Lost wages due to the time needed to recover
- Pain and suffering as a result of the incident
If a loved one was killed in a pool filter explosion accident, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against the manufacturer seeking all of the damages described above, in addition to recovery of funeral expenses and loss of companionship.Take Action Now – Statute of Limitations is Running Out
It is important to speak to a lawyer sooner rather than later because you do not have an infinite amount of time to take legal action against a pool filter manufacturer. And the defense lawyers for these big companies will utilize any technicality possible to avoid accepting liability or paying damages to an injured consumer.
Take, for example, a pool filter injury case in Florida. The statute of limitations in Florida for a product liability case is four years from the date the injury occurred or from when the defect in the product could have reasonably been discovered. An exception to the four-year statute of limitations is something called the “statute of repose.” This allows an injured party to file a lawsuit up to twelve years from the time a product was delivered to its first purchaser or lessee.
In a product liability case captioned, Dominguez v. Hayward Industries et al, the 12-year statute of repose was at issue. In this case, a man suffered a serious head injury in November 2012 when a swimming pool filter exploded. He filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the pool filter, but the pool filter was delivered and installed in December 1999. Defense counsel for the pool filter manufacturer argued that the 12-year statute of repose barred this lawsuit because the lawsuit was not filed until thirteen years after the filter was delivered and installed. Under Florida law, there was no basis for recovery when an injury occurs and the defective product was purchased twelve or more years before the harm. Because the statute of repose started running in 1999, thirteen years before the pool filter explosion, the injured consumer was unable to recover damages against the manufacturer.
Do not let this happen to you. The statute of limitations in California for a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury. The statute of repose applies to lawsuits claiming a latent defect in the construction of your property and an injury arising out of that defect. In California, you have ten years from the date the construction was completed to bring a lawsuit.Sacramento Pool Equipment Defects
If you or a loved one suffered a serious harm like a traumatic brain injury or disfigurement as a result of an exploding pool filter, contact my office immediately to schedule a free, confidential case review. My name is Ed Smith and I am a Sacramento product liability injury attorney. Give me a call at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. I can also be reached toll free at (800) 404-5400. I possess over thirty years of experience in personal injury, product liability, and wrongful death lawsuits and will work tirelessly to get justice for you and your family.
I am honored to be included in the California membership of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The fellowship encompasses a group of injury attorneys that includes some of the top-ranking trial lawyers in the nation. Each member has won million or multi-million dollar case settlements or verdicts for past clients.
Check some of my Verdicts & Settlements here.
Image Attribution: By Nevit Dilmen - Own Photograph, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1429182
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