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Cover company sued in drowning death

Cover company sued in drowning death Cover company sued in drowning death

The parents of a 14-year-old girl who died underneath a pool cover have filed a $70 million wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of the cover company.

The drowning incident occurred on the evening of November 20, 2019 at the end of a the Liberty High School swim team practice at a leisure centre in Hillsboro, Oregon.

14-year-old Nabila Maazouz and her teammates were instructed by their head coach to put an assortment of covers on top of the pool at the end of their swim practice.

The teammates took a piece of cover for the end of the pool, then swam back underneath it to fetch another piece to place on top. As Nabilla and her teammates grabbed the second cover to swim it over to the deep end leaving it next to the first cover, Nabilla failed to emerge from under the first cover, but neither her teammates nor her coaches noticed her missing, according to the complaint.

'The swim team members swam under the second cover but Nabila Maazouz did not resurface. The other swimmers continued to cover the pool, without noticing Nabila Maazouz's disappearance. Once the pool was completely covered, the swimmers and coaches left the outdoor pool and the lights were turned off,' the complaint says.

Waiting to pick up her daughter after practice, the girl’s mother, Patricia Maazouz watched members of the swim team leave for the night. But when Nabila didn’t exit the building, Maazouz approached the coaches and pool staff. After searching the premises, Nabilla was discovered under the covers in the deep end.

The lawsuit alleges that the pool covers – ThermaGard, by Universal Filtration - were “defective and unreasonably dangerous” and also “violated industry standards” for safety.

According to the complaint, “The design and manufacture of the cover is heavy and creates a suction that prevents swimmers from being able to easily selfrescue.” Furthermore, they claim that the cover lacked “adequate warnings regarding the dangers associated with the use of the cover.'

In addition to Universal Filtration as well as The Pool and Spa House that sold the covers, Hillsboro School District and the City of Hillsboro’s parks and recreation department are also named in the suit for 'failing to supervise the swim team while they covered the pool so as to ensure that it was done safely' and 'allowing swim team members to swim beneath the pool covers.”

The lawsuit, filed in Washington County Circuit Court on October 12, 2021, seeks $70 million in damages and requests a jury trial.

Photo credit: Shute Park Aquatic & Recreation Center, Hillsboro, Oregon.

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