Broken Gate – What do I do?

Pool gateIt’s the question I’m asked most often – The gate at my customer’s pool is broken and the customer refuses to fix it.  What do I do?

It is a difficult situation, especially when your customer is a property management company that provides you with a lot of work and you don’t want to drop the account.  You would expect that routine safety issues would be promptly fixed given our litigious society, but pool techs tell me otherwise.  So how does the prudent pool tech respond?

In many state, including California, a pool service technician has a duty to warn of dangerous conditions that can foreseeably result in an injury.  A defective gate would certainly qualify as a condition requiring warning.  I’d send a certified letter to the property manager advising them of the hazard, describing the risk it presents and suggest they contact a fencing contractor ASAP.  Make sure to keep a copy of the certified letter.

Sending this certified letter won’t necessarily avoid your involvement in a lawsuit, but it will provide a defense against the allegation that you were negligent by failing to warn of the dangerous condition.

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