Lesson 6: Ask the right questions to find how the law was violated
The below lesson is the sixth of 16 lessons that are included in Attorney Charles Boyk’s new book, I’ve Stood In Your Shoes, explaining his personal experience with child accidents. You can find the previous lessons in the blog section of our website.
There were still a lot of questions running through my brain regarding Joshua’s accident and I was wondering whether we needed an additional investigation, or maybe even a private investigator? Was it possible to get more photos of the diving board, and was an expert service consultation necessary?
The pool owners admittedly stated in their deposition that they did not perform an independent safety inspection and were unaware of the standards regarding the guardrails of the board. However, the owners argued that while they did not personally inspect the guardrails, the county safety inspector did.
I began to wonder whether there was a law stating that a owner had a “non-delegable” duty to inspect their own pool and couldn’t pass that off onto someone else. I asked attorney Nick Dodosh to look into this, and he found cases that confirmed my suspicions:
Ohio does not allow a defendant to claim ignorance and escape liability by hiding behind a health inspector. Instead, the defendant:
- has a non-delegable duty to not be ignorant
- has a non-delegable duty to affirmatively inspect its premises
- has a non-delegable duty to discover hidden dangers such as the unguarded area of the diving board where Josh fell
- has a non-delegable duty to eliminate or warn of the danger
After taking the depositions of current and former employees of the pool, we were able to show that the pool owners failed to respect ALL of the four duties listed above.
Lesson to be learned: You need to ask the right questions to get to the bottom of how the law was violated and how the injury or wrongful death occurred.
This proves how important it is to ask the right questions, but it is even more important to have a lawyer ask those questions for you. You have other matters to deal with other than the investigation, such as the health of your child. Let lawyers investigate the law, how it was violated, how the violation was the cause of the injury, and exactly which injuries occurred as a result of that violation.
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