While the weather is still cold outside, February is already almost over and winter will soon be gone. That means that it will soon be time to pull off the pool covers and get back into the pool again. However, before we jump back in, now, is the time to make sure that your pool is legal.
I pulled a permit!
When we say legal, we do not mean that you pulled the permit and built it (above or below ground) legally. Presumably, you did that, but if not, you may want to call a lawyer before summer gets here. Instead, we are talking about premises liability and the legal concept of attractive nuisance.
Under the attractive nuisance legal doctrine (and Massachusetts’ state law), if you have a pool, you have a duty to make it safe not just for those who use it but also to those who may trespass onto your property and use it (like kids). According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three children die every day as a result of the misuse of pools and other recreational water activities (often, in less than five minutes).
And, in North Andover, Massachusetts, and across New England, homeowners are responsible for any injuries that a trespassing child incurs as a result of their unsecured pool. If your child is injured because, for instance, someone left their pool in their backyard without a four-foot secured fence, you may have a premises liability case on your hands.
Properly secured under Massachusetts law
Our state has very specific laws on proper security of above-ground and in-ground swimming pools, which includes fencing, gates, ladders, etc. They are difficult to understand, and even experienced contractors mess up, which is why even experienced craftsman still have North Andover, Massachusetts, premises liability attorneys check their plans to ensure they comply with state law.