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Thread: RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITY FOR USE OF THE SWIMMING POOL

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    RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITY FOR USE OF THE SWIMMING POOL

    Does any one have experience with liability issues as it pertains to the use of a personal pool?

    We are having a pool party for my oldest son and the issue came up.

    I’m not even sure how the law works when it comes to guests in our home.

    As you can probably tell this is our first year with a pool.

    Is a signed waiver necessary or even effective lawsuit protection.

    We have all heard horror stories but I have no personal knowledge maybe that’s an urban legend.
    10,000 Gal. - Plaster – I.G. - Sand Filter – NOT USING MY Auto Puck Chlorinator.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    I carry an "umbrella" liability policy that covers me for more than my net worth. The insurance company is the easiest target for a lawsuit. No waiver is foolproof.
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    divnkd101's Avatar
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    Boy, this one should get some good debating going. I personally would never think to have anyone sign a waiver... I am curious to know if this is one of the parents asking. I am the type of person that would open my mouth and un-invite that individual for even asking the question. I am sure others will have more to add. Legally, I have no advice.
    MIKE

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    I just have to stay tuned to this thread hope there is a lawyer among us. Ric W
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    Its not that any parent brought it up specifically.

    My neighbors & I were shooting the breeze and it came up.

    We have found that the kids in the neighborhood seem to hover like flies trying to convince my 5-year old to invite everyone for a swim.

    This is becoming an extreme irritation.
    My initial thoughts were along the lines of “kids having fun is a great use for a pool”

    I have found out in a hurry that the sort of diligence required when multiple kids are swimming shouldn’t be wasted on children who would otherwise not pay any attention to my kids.

    This was the genesis of the legal question.
    10,000 Gal. - Plaster – I.G. - Sand Filter – NOT USING MY Auto Puck Chlorinator.

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    divnkd101's Avatar
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    Understood. Obviuosly, you have already taken the necessary precautions to keep unwanted visitors away from your pool, i.e. locked gate/ fence/ doors. Granted your kid is at a young age and will get those pressures from other kids in the neighborhood. I have had many of conversations with mine regarding when they are and are not allowed in the pool. I have, to protect myself, added additional insurance (unbrella policy) to cover such incidents if they occur. As far as having someone sign a waiver, I have never thought of, and probably won't, ever ask anyone to sign one. Is that neglect on my part??? perhaps..... I will let everyone else jump in on this one.
    MIKE

    21K Inground Custom w/ Spa (Gunite/Plaster), SWCG, Hayward Northstar, Polaris 280, Hayward Color Logics, Jandy PS-8

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    I feel like asking guests to sign a waiver would be rude. I also went with the umbrella liability insurance, in addition to the usual homeowners insurance with the pool rider. I make sure that I am always right by the pool while any guests are in the water. I was once told that a waiver wouldn't be worth anything is something serious actually happened, but I am not a lawer and have no real idea.
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    I'm in agreement with the consensus in that a waiver is probably useless, especially if you act irresponsibly, and probably not only rude but may send the un-intended message that the kids will be swimming un-supervised. We leave our teenagers alone in the pool with friends however until the youngest turned 12, the wife wouldn't go for it, especially if there were friends over. I too have taken out a $1 million dollar umbrella per the advice from my attorney in addition to the swimming pool rider on my insurance policy. In todays world, people sue over all kinds of stuff and for any reason so you are probably exposed no matter what you do.

    As far as the kids "using" your child, this is pretty common among neighborhood kids. I remember as a "pooless" child always buddying up to the kid in the neighborhood who had a pool. One way around this is to limit the number of kids at any given time as well as have "parent or adult" only days.

    Dave

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    The pool is secure and no one is alowed in the pool area unsupervised. (#1 RULE)

    I also agree that a request to sign a waiver would be met with sour feelings.

    What I will do is post a rules sign and ask for everones help to monitor children.

    Thank everyone for the discussion.
    10,000 Gal. - Plaster – I.G. - Sand Filter – NOT USING MY Auto Puck Chlorinator.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    In today's lawsuit happy society, waivers mean less and less and I would not have a pool without the additional umbrella policy - for your own protection! Good luck, I know what it can be like, especially during parties and there is always one family that does not pay attention to their swimming kids!
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    SeanB's Avatar
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    Great topic. I just got off the phone with my agent and added an umbrella liability policy - covers the car too.
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    It's been a while since our kids were small, but our unbreakable rule was "All children must have one of their parents present; otherwise they were not allowed in our pool area." This tended to cut down on the number of kids and shifted the primary responsibility to their parent(s).
    Chuck
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    KurtV's Avatar
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    Do you all remember how there was one house in your neighborhood or community where all the kids wanted to hang out? Well, one of the main reasons we built our pool was so that our house would be that house. We figured that the best way to know what our kids were up to was to have them and their friends here. Requiring parent's to stay here with their kids or sign waivers of liability so that their kids can hang out here would run counter to that goal.

    My $0.02; take it for what it's worth.

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Depending on the state, waivers mean little or nothing if something actually happens. Get insured, secure the property and excersise your best judgment on just who and how many go in the pool. And cross your fingers....
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    TexasGirl's Avatar
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    I spent the first half of my life accumulating assets and I'm spending the second half of my life protecting them.

    If you have a home and a pool, you should extend your homeowner's policy to the maximum liability. That extension is the least expensive liability insurance you can buy. You should do the same for your auto policy. Again, inexpensive protection.

    If you have significant assets (more than your vehicles, your home and the stuff in your home) an "umbrella" liability policy is essential. It will protect you from all the things for which you're not specifically insured and extend the liability for the things for which you are insured. It's not expensive. You should have at least enough umbrella limit to cover your assets. 15-20% of Americans have more than a million dollars worth of assets. Law suit claims are getting larger every year. So, 3, 5 and 7 million dollar umbrella policies are common.

    As to kids in my pool: No one visits the premises without my personal invitation. My kids (teenagers) don't invite others on their own because it's not their property. It's their home (only because I provide it for them). The last thing I want my home to be is "the one house in the neighborhood where all the kids want to hang out." If I have guests (any age) they will be here at the pleasure of the owner. It's important you be cautious and prudent, eventhough adequately insured. One liability claim for a drowned or injured kid can mean you can't get liability insurance, again, at any reasonable price.

    Bottom line, NWMNMom's advice; "Depending on the state, waivers mean little or nothing if something actually happens. Get insured, secure the property and excersise your best judgment on just who and how many go in the pool. And cross your fingers" is the best advice in a nutshell.
    Debbie

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    SeanB's Avatar
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    Well said.
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  17. Back To Top    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by KurtV
    one of the main easons we built our pool was so that our house would be that house. We figured that the best way to know what our kids were up to was to have them and their friends here. Requiring parent's to stay here with their kids or sign waivers of liability so that their kids can hang out here would run counter to that goal.

    My $0.02; take it for what it's worth.
    I can respect texasgirls perspective however I'm in complete agreement with Kurt. After all, some parents just don't care and I really don't want my teenage daughter hanging out at a place where the "adults" are complacent. Great thread!

    Dave

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    This IS a great thread. Shows a little of our philosophies on raising kids and life in general. I tend to be a lot like Texasgirl with my kids but, like KurtV, I want our house to be the place where the kids hang out....so I can keep an eye on who they're "hangin" with.

    Certainly, none of us are "right" or "wrong" here but I will mention this.......despite your best efforts, your kids are gonna' grow up just like you...it's inevitable. That sobering thought has personally depressed me on more than one occasion.
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    SeanB's Avatar
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    I want our house to be the place where the kids want to hang out, but it needs to be on our terms, not just showing up at the door towel in hand and no parent in site.
    TFP Founder

    My Pool: 13K gal IG gunite with 7' spa, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Polaris 280 Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    duraleigh wrote " That sobering thought has personally depressed me on more than one occasion. "

    Boy does that ring true for me.... I hear ya! And my kids are only 6 and 9!
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