The family of a Minnesota girl who was entrapped by a wading pool drain last summer has sued Sta-Rite, a subsidiary of industry giant Pentair Inc., which manufactured the drain. The Minnesota Golf Club in St. Louis Park, Minn., where the pool was located, also is named in the civil lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of the victim, 6-year-old Abigail Taylor. It states that the girl faces lifetime medical expenses of $30 million. The suit asks for three judgments against Sta-Rite in excess of $50,000, along with one judgment against the Minnesota Golf Club in excess of $50,000. Taylor was injured when she fell exiting a kiddie pool at the country club and landed on an uncovered drain, which pulled most of her intestines out through her rectum.
Doctors said Abigail, who had begun competing in swim meets, was lucky to survive. She will require a feeding tube the rest of her life, and now attends school with a colostomy bag and a nurse who accompanies her 12 hours a day.
Pentair said in a statement that the lawsuit is ?without merit,? and blamed the accident on ?the club?s long list of errors, including misuse of its pool products, inadequate site supervision and improper maintenance? of the drain.
Pentair claimed the country club ignored the fact that the drain cover was damaged and screwed it back on with a common sheetrock screw, which rusted. The company said after a child stepped on the rusty screw, the drain safety cover was ?merely placed over the drain, but not fastened down.? Children were seen playing with the unattached drain cover before the accident. And the club should have closed the pool under state law, the investigation said. Pent-air also contended that a golf ball blocked the pool?s skimmer piping, ?thereby creating a single suction source at the main drain.?
The country club denied Pentair's accusations, and noted through its attorney that the pool passed its most recent city inspection.