Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Bennett v. Stanley
Kyleigh and Chance Bennett, 3 years old and 5 years old respectively, were playing at their neighbor Stanleys’ pool on March 20, 1997. The Stanleys did not properly maintain the pool, but had allowed it to fill with rainwater to a depth of over 6 feet. They had removed a tarp from the pool and fencing from two sides of the pool and it did not have any ladders. It became pond-like and contained tadpoles and frogs with slimy sides covered in algae. Chance fell into the pool and his mother apparently drowned trying to save him. When Rickey Bennett came home on the day of the drowning he found his two young daughters crying. Kyleigh told him that “Mommy and Chance are drowning in the water.” Bennett ran next door to find his wife and son unconscious in the swimming pool. Both died. Bennett sued the Stanleys in negligence. The trial granted the Stanleys’ motion for summary judgment, the appeals court affirmed, and the Ohio Supreme Court reversed and remanded.
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