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Massachusetts Woman's Body in swimming pool for days before discovery

CNN reports that a dead body was found in a Massachusetts public pool and remained there for several days as swimmers continued to use the pool. The body was identified as that of Marie Joseph, 36, who was discovered by a group of teenage swimmers after she was found floating late Tuesday evening at the Vietnam Veteran’s Swimming Pool in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Apparently, Joseph, who had been swimming with her neighbors, was injured while she was going down a pool slide. Bristol County district attorney's spokesman Gregg Miliote did not know exactly how the accident occurred but indicated that Joseph and another swimmer collided on the slide and after they collided the boy surfaced but Joseph did not. There is no additional information about the accident or whether the neighbors looked for Joseph before they left the pool. Fall River authorities continue to investigate the accident.

Questions have arisen about the condition of the pool, which is 12 feet deep at its deepest. Examinations have been made by a health inspector who described the water as “cloudy”. It is still unclear why no one could see the body in the water and did not notice it until the decomposed body became buoyant and surfaced. The health inspectors, the pool’s managers and the lifeguards have all been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

"It is in many respects disturbing and unreal," said Massachusetts Conservation and recreation Commissioner Ed Lambert. Throughout the state other pools have been closed, allowing health inspectors to complete investigations of the water conditions. The swimmers who swam in the pool before the body was discovered should not suffer any health problems, according to the authorities.

Filing a personal injury claim

Premise liability law deals with accidents that happen while you are on someone else’s property. Premise liability law holds the property owners legally responsible for accidents that occur on their property if the injured party can prove that the property was unsafe.

Common premise liability claims can include dog attacks, accidental drowning, and slips and falls. The family of the victim in the article above may be able to file a premise liability claim if they can prove that the unsafe conditions of the pool where Marie Joseph died contributed to her death.

For instance, what if the conditions of the pool were unsafe or the water was not clean enough? What if the lifeguards could have saved her and revived her if the water had not been “cloudy”? These are interesting questions that a personal injury lawyer could investigate.

What happens if you win a premise liability claim? Like other personal injury claims, you may be entitled to paid medical care, lost wage compensation, and compensation for pain and suffering.

Not everyone who is injured on another person’s property can file a premise liability claim. State laws vary, but the courts will investigate why you were on the property, whether your claim was filed within the statute of limitations for your state and whether you can prove the owner of the property was negligent and whether it was this negligence which led to your injury.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Due to the complexity of state laws, you probably will need to hire a personal injury lawyer who understands the law and can ensure your rights are protected. Personal injury lawyers can evaluate your claim and help determine the best course of action. They can also help gather and preserve physical evidence, calculate the total cost of your personal injuries, work with the insurance company for a settlement or take your premise liability case to court.


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