Imagine you are driving down the road, and everything seems normal. Sure, it’s cold outside — let’s say it has been for weeks, something that isn’t too difficult to imagine given the month so far — but the road is clear and free of any ice or snow. All of a sudden, you come upon a solid sheet of ice. The entire road is blanketed by the slick surface, and now cars are skidding, spinning and swerving all over the place. Multiple accidents occur and a few people are injured as a result.
You think to yourself “that was really weird,” before getting rather upset that you’ve had an accident. But your outrage only grows when you find out that this sheet of ice was man-made.
Why would anyone do that?
That’s exactly the conundrum facing many people in Connecticut after a pool company employee was arrested for seemingly deliberately emptying a pool into the road. In the cold conditions, the water froze very quickly and caused a tremendous hazard for anyone on the road. The 34-year-old pool company employee was charged with reckless endangerment. Numerous accidents occurred at the bizarre scene and at least one person was hurt.
Though this story involves car accidents, it is also a premises liability story. How did the pool company employee gain access to the pool to drain it? Why wasn’t there another employee around to help out the 34-year-old, or to supervise him? What other protocols or rules were broken by the employee (or even the company) by allowing this pool to drain, freeze and ultimately injure people?
Source: examiner.com, “Connecticut man drains swimming pool water on icy road: Accident chaos erupts,” Jan. 10, 2014