A July 4th celebration nearly turned tragic for a Queens family late Thursday afternoon. A two-year old child attending a Jay Avenue block party with parents was lost in the chaos of the scene. When he was spotted once more, he was unconscious and near death-floating in a neighbors pool. This near-fatal New York City drowning accident could have turned tragic if not for the quick thinking of several everyday heroes.
Thankfully, a retired firefighter was within earshot of the frantic neighbors as they cried for help. The boy had been fished out of the pool but wasn’t breathing. When 32-year FDNY veteran John Manzione arrived, he immediately began treating the boy (who was in cardiac arrest) and continued until EMTs arrived on scene. Thanks to his heroic actions, the EMTs were able to revive the boy and he was transported to a local hospital for further treatment. Manzione was happy to help turn what could have been “a real tragedy” into “a happy ending.”
This accident highlights the danger of commercial, residential, and public pools in New York City. There are thousands of such hazards in parks, health centers, hotels, schools, and backyards all over the city. These potential hazards represent a real danger-especially to children. CDC statistics show that one in five people who drown are under the age of fourteen. Indeed, 30% of children under four years old who die accidentally, die from drowning. For every fatal incident there are five near-death drowning accidents that require emergency services.
Over half of those result in extended hospitalization. Unfortunately, a significant number of near-death submersion victims end up with long-term injuries (potentially lifelong) such as brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation.
That’s why adult supervision and necessary safety precautions are essential. Still, as this near-fatal New York City drowning accident illustrates, even when adults are present accidents can still happen before anyone notices and before anyone can respond. Pool owners bear a great amount of responsibility when it comes to the safety of those who use their pool (either with or without permission). If negligence or faulty manufacturing plays a part in a pool related death, surviving family members may be able to seek compensation for their loss. Additionally, the medical expenses of those who nearly die could be recovered from a negligent party.
The first step is contacting a New York City drowning accident lawyer for a consultation to see if the law is on their side. Call the Law offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation to learn your rights at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122.