Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Most awesome Thing This Week!

Last Friday Jason's cell phone rang while we were out at dinner with Dad, Megan and Isabella. Normally I get a bit cranky about the constant ringing of his cell (fueled by the obnoxious ring tones he chooses) but that night it was actually important but another illustration that his job is awful.
This is what happened.
The life guard on the outside pool decided to close up shop a little early that night and turned off all the rides and locked the doors. What he didn't do was make sure all the rides were clear of people.
Turns out that a 12 year old boy had climbed up one of the slides and realized once he was the top that it had been turned off- so he tried to turn around and go back down the ladder. The ladder to these rides are not designed to go down- only up, so he ended up tripping and falling down the ladder breaking his ankle and jamming his knee up into the socket. He ended up lying outside for 15 minutes until he drug himself over to the glass doors and banged on it until someone noticed.
During this time his mother had been swimming laps under the assumption that her son was playing in the outside pool that was supposed to be still open.
Understandably she was hysterical.
In an effort to avoid her suing everyone breathing that night the property managers brought in a Judge to mediate to see if they could make her happy.
These are the rulings:
1. The life guard can't get his drivers license until he is 18 (I'm not sure why this had anything to do with anything)
2. His Red Cross certifications have been revoked and he will never be allowed to be re-certified for the rest of his life. Ironically this doesn't keep him from being a life guard at YMCA's because they don't use Red Cross.
3. The guard is personally responsible for all of this boys medical bills- and has to account to the court where all the money he pays towards them comes from. Which means that if his parents bail him out and pay the bills the court has ruled that he still has to pay his parents back.
I feel bad that this kid (12 year old) now gets to spend forever in Physical Therapy and has to get knee surgery (which is complicated because he is still growing) but I think the ruling for this case is perfect!


Jonas said...

This was a lifeguard under the age of 18? And he should be held liable for closing the pool early? Seems to me there ought to be a paid person within this organization that should take the brunt of the responsibility. The boy that fell should be at least part liable for falling. I mean he wasn't in the best of circumstances due to what someone else did but I think that individuals need to take more responsibility on themselves for personal injury. He is the one that fell.

I don't think young people should be allowed to drive till their 18 anyway. At least not without a parent.

Terra said...

that's the thing - he didn't really have authorization to close the pool when he did. It is the guards job to turn off the water supply to the rides and make sure the pool is clear of patrons.

And there is no way it's the boys fault he was forced to go down the ladder and fell. Plus I think one of the biggest horrors is that he was lying there for 15 minutes and had to drag himself to the door and pound for attention.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I'm not sure that "The Most Awesome Thing This Week" is an appropriate title for this post, but I understand your meaning.

Why was a legal child put in a position to be able to close the area? It seems to me the company should be liable for not ensuring that an adult was on guard.

Terra said...

Ah, welcome to the Aquatics scene! It's very rare that life guards are adults probably because most pools are seasonal and they don't pay very well or carry benefits- so what you have are a bunch of high schoolers working their summer jobs with a few planning on keeping them past the end of August. Coupled with the fact that the adult that are in this field are more like large teenagers anyway and it's a smorgasbourg of stupid decisions.
(the awesome title was referencing the judges decision- to the point and relevant to the infraction)