Summer is around the corner, and countless people will soon be spending sweltering days at swimming pools in hopes of cooling off. More than 10 million homes have swimming pools in the U.S., and our country has more than 309,000 public pools. These places provide a way to beat the heat and get in some much-needed exercise, but there’s a hidden danger that many pool-goers don’t know about. Pool filters catch debris, dirt, and bugs, and they’re responsible for keeping water clear. But they can also explode during routine maintenance and cause severe injuries like blindness, brain damage, skull fractures, and concussions.
How Pool Filters Work
A pool filtration system consists of a circulation pump and a filter. The pump pulls in pool water, and the filter removes debris. After that, the pump sends the clean water back into the pool. The most common types are sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth filters. The filters usually are made up of a tank, lid, and clamp. Filters are effective because they operate under high pressure, but they can become bombs if the clamp malfunctions. Pool filters should be cleaned regularly, so homeowners are thrown into hazardous situations if they unwittingly have a defective pool filter. When a pool filter explodes, the lid is sent soaring and can land anywhere. In many cases, it strikes the person who was attempting to clean the filter in the first place. The issue has been known for decades, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned about the potential hazard as early as the 1970s.
Manufacturers have even recalled some pool filters because of defects. In 2004, Sta-Rite recalled about 8,500 pool filters because of reports that the upper tank shell was blowing off. The Sta-Rite filters only caused minor injuries, but other filters have caused lifelong health complications.
Pool Filter Injuries
When a pool filter malfunctions, it becomes a dangerous projectile. It can cause property damage or land in nearby trees, which is the best-case scenario for anyone standing nearby. Frequently, it will hit people directly in the face, leading to some of the devastating conditions listed below.
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Facial trauma
- Nerve damage
These injuries can lead to massive medical bills and money spent on physical therapy and other treatments. The aftermath of a severe injury can also cause post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and make it difficult for someone to return to everyday life, even if their physical wounds heal.
Defective Pool Filter Legal Options
If a pool filter is defective, who’s to blame? Is the manufacturer at fault even if they didn’t know that the filter could have a catastrophic impact? These are the questions that victims of exploding pool filters face while recovering from their injuries. Filing a defective product lawsuit against the filter manufacturer is one way to receive compensation for expenses like medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and the pain and suffering caused by the injury.
A common misconception is that manufacturers are only liable if they knew something was wrong with a product and distributed it to the public anyway. In reality, if a manufacturer should have known about the damage an exploding pool filter may cause, they may be found responsible in court and ordered to pay damages.
Product liability lawsuits generally fall into three categories: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. A design defect occurs before a product is sent to a manufacturing line, which means that the product is inherently flawed. Manufacturing defects happen during production and typically only affect a batch of products, and marketing defects occur when a company doesn’t sufficiently warn the public about potential dangers.
Staying Safe While Working with Your Pool Filter
You can do things to reduce the odds that your pool filter will malfunction. Monitor the pressure gauge and proceed with caution if the pressure is higher than the normal range. It would help if you also replaced bolts, nuts, and clamps every few years, and you can check for air leaks that might signal a pressure buildup. While these precautions are practical safety measures, they may not be enough to fully protect you from a defective pool filter.
When you’re injured after a pool filter accident, a peaceful oasis quickly becomes your worst nightmare. The Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Herman, Herman & Katz have the expertise to help you recover damages from the companies responsible for the product. Call 844-943-7626 or contact us online for a free case review.