Following the drowning death of their three-year-old son in a septic tank, a Montana family recently filed a lawsuit against their local water and sewer district. In 2007, the young boy, while playing in a driveway at a family friend’s home, fell into the tank and drowned. In the lawsuit, the Montana family claimed that local district officials were negligent in two ways: (1) the septic system was placed to close to the driveway; and (2) that the district was negligent in failing to install what is known as a “kid-catcher” safety device at the opening of the tank, a saftey feature that would have prevented their son’s death.
As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland lawyer, I have successfully handled prior drowning deaths in septic tanks or similar sewage facilities. Because of the well-known hazard that these tanks/facilities pose to small children, there are clear standards and safety features that have been adopted by a variety of professional organizations, standards/features that are designed to prevent these types of tragedies. Unfortunately, due to the large number of these older tanks that remain unmarked and/or unidentified on individuals’ properties, these preventable tragedies continue to this day. If a loved one has been injured or died as a result of a similar tragedy, call the lawyers at STSW for a free consultation.