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Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act)

The Virginia Graeme Baker Act is a result of the tragic death of a 7-year-old child. Virginia Graeme Baker, who was just 7-years-old, was a twin and the youngest child of five. Since the early age of 3-years-old, she was able to swim without any assistance – as she was part of the community dive and swim team. Virginia Graeme Baker ActConsidering the fact that the child was such a great swimmer, her drowning death seems surprising for those who are unfamiliar with the specific details surrounding her death. Virginia Graeme Baker did not drown because she was unable to swim; she drowned because she became struck in a drain underwater. In June of 2002, the child became stuck to a drain – specifically – a hot tub drain. She was unable to pull herself free from the drain. Her mother attempted to pull her from the drain; however, her efforts were unsuccessful. With the assistance of two men, the child was eventually freed (the drain cover broke from the efforts to pull the child away from the drain). Unfortunately, the child drowned before she could be freed; the cause of her death was determined to be suction entrapment associated with a defective drain cover.

Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.

Virginia Graeme Baker’s Death would not be in Vain

After the death of Virginia Graeme Baker, the child’s mother, Nancy Baker, worked relentlessly in efforts to improve pool and spa safety. With the tragic story of her daughter’s death, Nancy Baker became one of the strongest advocates for pool and spa safety. Her efforts resulted in a new, life-saving law, signed in 2007 and implemented in 2008 – the Virginia Graeme Baker Act.

Understanding the Law

Sec. 1404 (b) states the following:
“Effective 1 year after December 19, 2007, each swimming pool or spa drain cover manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United States shall conform to the entrapment protection standards of the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard, or any successor standard regulating such swimming pool or drain cover. If a successor standard is proposed, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers shall notify the Commission of the proposed revision. If the Commission determines that the proposed revision is in the public interest, it shall incorporate the revision into the standard after providing 30 days notice to the public.”
The law states that all public pools and spas in the U.S. must be equipped with anti-entrapment devices or other systems that meet safety standards. The law also states that public pools and spas in the country with single main drains (other than ublockable drains) must be equipped with one or more of the following:
  • Safety vacuum release system
  • Suction-limiting vent system
  • Gravity drainage system
  • Automatic pump shut-off system
  • Drain disablement
  • Other systems
The law also created a grant program designed to make it easier for pool/spa owners to ensure that their pools/spas are safe. The law also resulted in the creation of an education program to make important information available to the public in regards to preventing entrapment and drowning in pools and spas.
Pool accident claimsHotel Liability Swimming Pool Accidental Drowning Swimming Pool Drowning Lawyer Hotel Liability for Accidents and Injuries

Parties and Entities will Always Violate the Law

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act |  Swimming Pool Accident Lawyers Some people claim that laws are meant to be broken; however, some laws are simply meant to keep others safe. Unfortunately, many people disregard important laws, such as the law discussed above that mandates drain covers and the implementation of safety systems to prevent entrapment. In general, a violation of such an important law will not be apparent until something terrible happens – and an innocent swimmer is entrapped in a drain. If the appropriate safety systems are in place, there is no reason why entrapment should occur (besides faulty installation or defective products, for example); however, the pool or spa owner might not carry liability. Instead, the installation company or the manufacturer of the product could be found liable. In instances in which the pool or spa owner refused to install the appropriate drain cover or any of the safety systems described by the law, they might be completely liable for the incident and harm suffered.

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Seek Legal Assistance

If you or a member of your family suffered any type of harm as a result of a violation of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act, it is essential that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible. The harm that you or your child suffered could be directly associated with the negligent actions of a pool or spa owner; you might have grounds to sue and receive compensation. If you would like to learn more about your right to pursue a claim, do not hesitate to contact our firm immediately. Our firm offers free legal services to ensure that our clients have access to all the information that they need to pursue a claim. If you would like to benefit from our free consultations and free second opinions, do not hesitate to contact our law firm immediately. You could also benefit from our Zero-Fee guarantee and our strict contingency structure. If you would like to learn more about the Virginia Graeme Baker Act or your right to pursue a claim, do not hesitate to contact our law firm immediately.
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