On July 3, 2010, a disastrous diving accident occurred at a swimming pool located within a Palm Beach county condominium complex. The accident involved a tenant who had recently moved into the condominium complex, unaware that a leisurely trip to the complex pool would result in a life changing injury. The pool was built in an opposite manner than a typical pool structure as the stairs were located on the sides of the pool with the shallow end farthest from the pool area entrance and the deep end closest to the pool area entrance. According to surveillance camera footage, before diving in, the tenant seemed to purposefully walk to the far end of the pool under the notion that it was the deepest end of the pool. Due to the dive, the tenant incurred major spinal cord injuries, which lead to paralysis.
During the summer of 2010, the condominium association extended its pool time hours to 9 PM but fell short in providing adequate lighting at the pool during night time hours. On the night of the accident, the pool deck area lighting was not in operation, and the No Diving sign was situated at the end of the pool where the lighting was nonexistent. According to association policy, a board member or volunteer closed the pool each night and informed those present within the pool area of its closure. However, on the night of July 3, 2010, the individual who closed the pool appeared minutes later than 9 PM, which happened to be after the accident occurred. The dive was not seen by anyone but was captured on video by surveillance cameras located in the pool area, as mentioned previously.
The tenant retained Attorney Scott B. Smith as counsel and took the accident to Court, where the case was litigated for several years. The defendants to the case consisted of the condominium association and the property management company that owned and held responsibility for the management of the pool and pool area. The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and awarded her $6,525,000. Additionally, a Confidential Settlement was established with the general contractor, pool engineer, development company, pool builder, and electrical company, all who were apart of the construction and design of the pool.