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Parents of a boy who drowned filed a lawsuit Monday, January 28 against the town of Greenwich, Shoreline Pools, and others. The 6 year-old drowned when his arm became caught in a powerful swimming pool drain. The lawsuit, by Brian and Karen Cohn, alleges that the pool safety violates safety requirements that were instated after many similar tragedies.

The lawsuit, which seeks damages of more than $15,000, alleges Shoreline had a history of violating building code requirements and accuses the town of failing to conduct a proper inspection before issuing a permit.

Zachary, the 6 year-old boy, became trapped after his arm became stuck in the intake valve on the wall at the deep end of the pool. When the water enters the intake valve there is a great amount of suction. When he became trapped on July 26, 2007, the father and another adult jumped in to try and save him, but unfortunately the suction from the intake valve was to strong.

The boy’s parents could not find a mechanism to turn off the suction pump, so Karen Cohn ran and shut off power to the house, including the pool’s drain pump. Brian Cohn was then able to free his son and perform CPR, but it was too late.

According to the lawsuit, there have been more than 150 reported drain entrapments since 1985 and over 48 deaths. There have also been other serious injuries such as disembowelment. In 2004, Connecticut made new safety requirements for pool circulation systems.

The lawsuit states that the swimming pool the boy drowned in did not live up to the minimum safety standards and that there are seven code violations that could cause entrapment.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Wrongful Death.

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