Disabling Swimming Pool Gate Creates Safety Risk

broken pool gateTenants at my client’s commercial account keep disabling the lock on the pool gate so that it remains constantly open. He has discussed this issue with the property management company many times but they refuse to replace the lock or take any other measures to secure the area. He does four properties for this property management company and doesn’t want to drop the account, but he’s worried about the consequences if an unattended child gets into the pool area. He asked for my advise.  What would you do?

My Advice:

This is a significant hazard and the pool technician is wise in taking it seriously. In California a pool technician has a duty to warn his customer of dangerous conditions around the pool and he’s had this discussion with the customer. He should nevertheless send the property manager a certified letter describing the problem and the prior discussions.  He should make sure to stress the risk involved – that a child could enter the pool area a possibly drown and advise them to contact a fence contractor at once.  This certified letter won’t necessarily avoid your involvement in a potential lawsuit, but it will provide a strong defense against an allegation that you were negligent by failing to warn the customer of the dangerous condition.

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