Family of boy electrocuted in pool files lawsuit

By Roger Lohse, Reporter, rlohse@Local10.com
Peter Burke, Managing Editor, pburke@local10.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:05:31 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2014 10:00:00 PM EDT

The family of a boy who was electrocuted in his family's swimming pool files a wrongful-death lawsuit against four companies.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -

The family of a 7-year-old boy who died when he was electrocuted by the light in his backyard pool has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Ervin Gonzalez, an attorney for the parents of Calder Sloan, spoke about the lawsuit at a news conference Tuesday.

Calder Sloan was electrocuted April 13, one week after his birthday, in the pool behind the family's North Miami home.

The 25-page lawsuit holds four companies responsible -- Pentair Water Pool and Spa, the maker of the pool light; All Florida Pool & Spa Center, the company hired to maintain the Sloan family's pool; Gary B Electric and Construction Consultant, which wired the pool equipment in 2009; and JP Enterprises, the company that inspected Gary B's electrical work and signed off on it.

"They failed," father Chris Sloan said.

According to the lawsuit, the pool light wasn't designed with an internal kill switch to prevent overheating, the home's electrical system wasn't properly bonded and, perhaps most importantly, the pool light wasn't properly grounded.

"If the light and the pool pump and all of the pool equipment had been properly grounded, most likely this doesn't happen," Gonzalez said.

Chris Sloan said he hopes the lawsuit will bring about a change in pool inspections.

"Our profound desire is that the tragedy that beset our son, who got it the worst, and our family never befalls another family or child again," he said.

The lawsuit seeks in excess of $15,000 in damages.

In a statement to Local 10, the president of All Florida Pool & Spa issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit: "We need to state for the record that we had no involvement in the construction, repair and installation of any mechanical, cosmetic and structural portions of this pool. That includes the electric pool light which is a focal point of this investigation. Our function on this property for the Sloan family was limited to cleaning the pool. We run a licensed and insured professional pool company and have done so locally for over 40 years. We help thousands of customers a year. In this case, we want to reiterate that we have had no involvement in the sale or installation of the pool equipment in question. We wish a healthy emotional recovery to the family that Calder Sloan leaves behind."

In a statement to Local 10, a representative with Pentair Water Pool and Spa issued the following statement: "We are extremely saddened by the tragic event that occurred April 17 in South Florida. Our thoughts are with the Sloan family. We are working with the appropriate parties to conduct a formal inspection to learn the cause of this very unfortunate accident."

The other companies did not respond to our requests for comment.

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