Massachusetts Swimming Pool Death: State Report Released on Woman’s Fatal Fall River Drowning

The Department of Conservation and Recreation has issued its final report on the 2011 Fall River, Massachusetts swimming pool accident death of Marie Joseph. The 36-year-old woman, who could not swim, drowned in the state-run pool. Because the water was so dirty it was two days before her body was discovered.

Authorities blamed bad decisions by pool employees for the tragic accident and they have said that Joseph’s death was preventable. Also, the water in the pool failed to meet Massachusetts standards that day and it shouldn’t have been open for use.

The state is recommending that better pumps and pool equipment be provided at the Fall River facility and the pool depth be lowered from 12 feet to 5 ½ feet. Changes will also be made to other state-run pools to enhance user safety. For example, another 10 pools will be updated and their depths reduced to just over five feet. There will be more lifeguards, and security cameras with motion detectors will be added. Staff will also have to undergo more extensive training.

Joseph drowned after going down a water slide. The DCR has decided to suspend the use of water slides at all of its pools. It will also improve visibility checks.

DCR Commissioner Edward Lambert believes that one of the reasons Joseph drowned is that the pool had depended too heavily on seasonal staff. Moving forward, full-time employees from an aquatic and waterfront safety division will replace these employees. All state-run pools will also safety regulations and rules posted by them.

Our Boston drowning accident lawyers represent the families of children and adults injured or killed in accidents in swimming pools, hot tubs, and Jacuzzis. We have filed Massachusetts premises liability and products liability lawsuits against negligent parties, as well as inadequate supervision cases against those that failed to do their job in monitoring the pool or spa.

In final report on Fall River drowning, DCR unveils plan to improve safety at state-run pools,, April 20, 2012

State releases final investigative report on Fall River pool drowning, Herald, April 20, 2012
Pool Chief: Woman’s Drowning Was Preventable, WCVB TV Boston, April 20, 2012

More Blog Posts:
Massachusetts Swimming Pool Accident: Drowned Woman’s Body Was Concealed by “Cloudy” Water for Two Days, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, June 30, 2011
Truro Man’s Family to Sue Provincetown for Man’s 2008 Massachusetts Drowning Death, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 14, 2010
13-Year-Old Nearly Drowns in Falmouth Swimming Pool Accident at Holiday Inn, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, July 21, 2010
Contact Altman & Altman, LLP and ask to speak with one of our experienced Boston injury lawyers today.

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