This is another basic “issue spotting” problem (like the first writing assignment), designed to let you integrate the various features of tort law into a response to a specific fact pattern:
At the urging of the lobbies that represent lifeguards and sign manufacturers, the state legislature has recently passed a statute that reads as follows: “All owners and operators of a swimming pool must either have a lifeguard on duty whenever the pool is open or post a sign that reads ‘No lifeguard on duty.’”
With school approval, Janet takes the twenty-five students in her sixth-grade class on a trip to see several historical sites. Bob, one of the children’s parents, joins the trip to help Janet supervise the kids.
On the second night of the trip, Bob takes four kids down to the hotel’s pool. The hotel has a rather large pool, but the pool has no lifeguard or safety signs. For about twenty minutes, three of the children play together near where Bob is seated, while the other, Paul, moves to the far side of the pool and swims underwater. Bob, absorbed in an addictive Scrabble-like game that he is playing on his mobile phone, does not notice that Paul has not come up for air for several minutes. Eventually one of the other children notices, and Bob jumps in to try to save Paul. He fails, and Paul dies. Bob, for his part, twists his ankle while rushing to jump into the pool, leading to a medical bill of $8000 that his health insurance covers.
Janet, Bob, and Paul’s parents back home all suffer from serious depression for several years.
Discuss all potential risks of liability raised by these unfortunate facts.