Legal Question in Civil Litigation in North Carolina

I went to a resort on vacation on 6/27/13-6/30/13. I came home with a rash that was later determined by a doctor, it is a bacterial skin infection. It is localized on the bottoms of my legs, because I mostly sat on the side of the indoor pool with my legs in the water. I had a small scratch on my left leg, that allowed the bacteria to enter my body.

My question is, can I hold the resort financially responsible for pool cleaning negligence?

Asked on 7/05/13, 5:36 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Amanda Houser The Houser Law Firm, P.C.

Could you hold the resort financially responsible? Not in any meaningful way but a Court could if you file a civil suit. You can pretty much sue anybody for anything, the important question is what are your odds of winning and based on your description, the answer is - slim and none. The reason why is you'd have to prove the bacteria came from the resort pool and not some other source - you most likely would not make it over this hurdle let alone the next one. You'd also have to prove the resort was negligent in the cleaning / maintaince of the pool or had some notice of problems like yours and did nothing about it. Even properly maintained pools have bacteria (and believe me - a lot worse) in them - its just a fact of life. I recommend you be grateful your situation is treatable and move on. However, if you really want to pursue the matter, have a consultation with attorney and take things from there. A resort may want to settle for a nominal amount rather than defend against a civil suit.

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Answered on 7/05/13, 9:11 pm

Kenneth Love Ken Love Law

Unfortunately, I agree with Ms. Houser. To win here you have to prove at least 4 things

1. That the resort owed you a duty to protect you

2. Did they breach they duty

3. Were you injured

4. That the resort caused your injuries.

Ms. Houser was speaking directly to the 2nd and 4th issues which are always the most difficult to prove.

You have to show that not only did the bacteria in the pool was unhealthy, you also have to show that the pool and not something else caused your injury. You also have to deal with mitigation of damages and contributory negligence.

You have a duty to mitigate or lower your damages/injury. If you had a cut before you got in the pool did you treat/cover it? How quickly did you get treatment after you were injured? Those and other questions could affect your damages.

Contributory negligence (NC is one of the few states that still uses this law) states that if you are negligent at all, you can't collect against the person/organization that caused you harm. You didn't mention what state the resort was in. But if you were horseplaying or being reckless in the pool and got injured, it will eliminate or greatly reduce (in other states) your damages.

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Answered on 7/06/13, 7:05 pm

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