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Daily Inspection of Pool Area Sufficient to Maintain Political Immunity

In the case of Buttari v. Norwalk, 2023-Ohio-4163, an appellate court held that summary judgment was appropriate on the basis of statutory immunity where a city was sued by a swimmer who sustained injuries after she fell through an overflow grate at the city’s pool where the evidence established that the lifeguards at the pool inspected the grates daily and found no defect before the injury occurred.

In this case, the swimmer argued that an exception to political immunity was present because (1) the employees were negligent in inspecting the grates and (2) the inspections were insufficient to find a physical defect. In response, the city argued that there was no exception to political immunity because (1) the lifeguards were not negligent because the lifeguards checked the grates every morning and (2) the inspections, even if insufficient, were a part of the policies and judgment of the city, so immunity would still be reinstated under R.C. 2744.03(A)(5). The appellate court agreed with the city.

In support of its decision in favor of the city, the appellate court explained that the lifeguards performed the inspection on the grates every morning and there is no evidence to suggest that the lifeguards failed to perform this inspection on the day of the injury. The appellate court further explained that, even if the procedure was insufficient, the city used judgment and discretion to create the inspection procedure, which reinstates immunity under R.C. 2744.03(A)(5).

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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