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| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

There are increasing calls to improve public safety after a tragic pool death in North Carolina due to electrocution where a lifeguard died. 

Experts say it is a very dangerous and invisible problem that can lead to paralysis or death in seconds. Thousands of volts of electricity can flow through a pool’s water due to such hazards as faulty light wiring.

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In Florida last month, a young girl in a pool touched the metal rail and went limp as an electric shock coursed through her. A man got shocked as well but he managed to save the girl by pulling her out.

However, a 17 year old lifeguard in North Carolina was not that lucky. She was a high school senior and lifeguard at the community pool in Raleigh. She died last Labor Day weekend when she was shocked by the water in the pool. This caused her muscles to be briefly paralyzed and she could not swim to the surface. She eventually drowned.

Her family has filed a personal injury lawsuit against two Raliegh companies who, they allege, did not do proper repairs on the electrical wire for the pool. Those companies are Williams Electric Motor Repair and Future Connections Electrical, Inc. The family alleges that the companies did not properly replace electrical wiring in the pool in 2011.

Their attorney stated that the companies knew there were dangerous conditions in the pool but they did not fix them.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Product Safety Commission states that 14 people have been killed in swimming pools by electrocution from 2003-14. Safety experts say this can happen  because swimming pools are not inspected regularly and typically are only looked at by an electrician when the pool opens for the season.

Some lawmakers in North Carolina want a new law that would mandate more inspections of all public swimming pools in that state.

Our View

Our wrongful death attorneys who are licensed in North Carolina are sad to see that a young woman was needlessly killed due to potential negligence on the part of the companies mentioned above. When working with electrical wiring in and near water, it is very important to ensure that the wiring has been installed properly and according to all local codes.

If the attorney on this case can show that the companies above were negligent, they could be found liable in the woman’s death. They could be forced to pay millions in damages; this would be a stark warning to other companies to be much more careful in their electrical work near water.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Shock Alert
    Shock Alert

    Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families who lost their loved ones in this terrible tragedy. Electricity in water is invisible and silent, and one life lost to Electric Shock Drowning is one too many.

    Shock Alert’s mission is to help increase awareness of ESD, and spread the message that no one should swim near a dock or marina where electricity is used. It is crucial to check water for any electricity present in the case that a person or pet falls in. Shock Alert allows you to check water for voltage gradients, and alerts you of any dangerous electricity present. In the case that voltage is detected, it may also help you locate the source. If you are interested in more information, please visit us at

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