Boy suffers brain dysfunction in jacuzzi incident

Pool cleaner, manager accused of liability for injury of boy who suffered total brain dysfunction

Dubai: A pool cleaner and a manager have been accused of being responsible for causing the complete brain dysfunction to a seven-year-old boy following a jacuzzi incident.

The seven-year-old Emirati boy was present in the rooftop pool area with his father and sister at the residential tower where they live in Business Bay area in September.

The father had taken his children to the poolside to spend the afternoon, according to records, when he saw his son falling into the Jacuzzi tub at 6.30pm. The father jumped in to rescue his boy, whose hand had got stuck in the outlet drain in the bottom of the jacuzzi tub.

Records said the father tried to pull his son out of the 90cm-deep tub, but he was totally immersed in the water as the pressure of the outlet drain was sucking him and pulling his body under the water.

After failing to pull him out of the Jacuzzi on his own, the father went to seek the help of some neighbours or the tower’s security guards.

The scared father bumped into two neighbours who rushed to the pool and helped pull the drowning boy out of the tub.

A Jordanian neighbour curled his arm around the arm of the boy and freed him, while a Lebanese neighbour performed CPR on the child in an attempt to resuscitate him.

The boy was rushed to hospital where medical reports confirmed that he suffered severe and diffuse cerebral and brainstem dysfunction.

Police investigations exposed the involvement of the tower’s Indian pool cleaner and his countryman manager in the accident.

Prosecutors charged the two suspects [cleaner and manager] with being liable for the boy’s injury.

According to the accusation sheet, prosecutors said the suspects failed to apply the required and standard precautionary measures in and around the jacuzzi tub and failed to post proper warning signs on the poolside.

They were also accused of criminal liability for failing to apply proper and routine maintenance works to fix the tub’s outlet drain that had been the cause of the drowning. Prosecutors also said the suspects should have fixed a switch near the Jacuzzi tub for emergencies to disconnect electricity supply.

The suspects pleaded not guilty when they showed up before the Dubai Misdemeanours Court and denied any liability.

When questioned by the police, the pool cleaner admitted that the last time he examined the tub, he discovered that the outlet drain was not functioning. He alleged that he reported the maintenance company that the outlet drain needed to be fixed but did not recommend, in his report, that the tub needed to be shut down.

The father told police interrogators that his two neighbours saved his child and that there was no lifeguard present at the time of the accident. He also said the poolside area did not have warning signs or instructions for users.

The trial continues.

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