Author Topic: Delicate social situation: Please advise  (Read 3336 times)

Melisande

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Delicate social situation: Please advise
« on: July 04, 2017, 06:01:19 PM »
When we go away on vacation, we have our neighbors watch our house for us. It's not a particularly onerous job, since the only thing they have to do is pick up any flyers and free newspapers that make their way to our driveway or door and be there in case of an emergency. They do not need to take in the mail (we stop it) or water plants, or feed pets or anything like that. They've done a fine job with what they have to do and we typically bring them back a little present to show our gratitude. I should add that we are also kind of/sort of friends with the family. We are very friendly and talk when we see each other outside. We have had dinner together a couple of times. We keep saying we should get together again, but never quite get around to it. It's that kind of relationship. They are really nice people and we have some things in common. But it seems like their life revolves around their children and we don't have any, so that's really the limiting factor, I think.

Anyway, back in May, when we were away for a week, I got a text from the Mom begging me to let her and her kids use our pool (yes, I realize a pool is not particularly Mustachian, but it is what it is.)  It was really hot, we had a drought going on, the kids really wanted to go swimming etc. (In her defense our community pool is open something like 8 hours a week, pools in fitness clubs are not fun/outside, and all the nearby natural bodies of water have alligators in them, so they were not just being lazy). Both my husband and I felt kind of weird about it, but we also like sharing what we have, so we said no problem, just make sure that the kids are careful and are supervised.

They were very happy and grateful. When we got back, we found that they had cleaned up the entire pool area and even left us flowers.

So far so good. However, about a week ago, a girl who I really do not think was one of my neighbor's two daughters (I am a little face blind, particularly when it comes to children) rang my bell and asked if she could use my pool "again." She had two friends with her standing off to the side who may or may not having been wanting to use the pool "again." I just told them no (nicely) and they ran off.  But I started wondering if my neighbors had been inviting their neighborhood friends over to our pool too. Not so great, particularly when you're trying to hide the fact that you are away on vacation.

This weekend we were away again and the neighbors may or may not have used the pool. (They said they were planning on it,
 but I think they got rained out). 

We are planning on going away for a long vacation (more than 2 weeks) at the end of July and again we are planning on asking our neighbors to watch our house as they have done for years. However, I know that the pool issue will come up again. My husband has confessed that he is worried about someone hurting themselves and us having a potential law suit on our hands.  We have no way of knowing who is using it, how they are using it and whether or not they are being  adequately supervised. And even if everyone is following the "rules" bad things could still happen. He said I should just tell them:  sorry no more pool access and explain his thinking.

If I could be sure it was just them using it, I would push back a little against my husband, but what with the giggling trio of bathing suit clad girls at my door last week, I'm starting to get concerned too. I don't want to hurt our nice relationship with the neighbors, but I'm thinking we really should close this whole pool privilege thing down.

So, that's pretty much what we want to do. But how to do it? My husband thinks we should invite them to dinner so as not to be perceived as cruel. But I'm worried that if we have dinner with them, we might find ourselves in an even more awkward situation or wind up making a compromise we don't want to make. Easier just to explain nicely via text or in person w/o the dinner.

So, what would you do? Would you let them continue to use the pool or not? If not, how would you go about breaking the bad news so as to best maintain the relationship?

englishteacheralex

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 06:12:49 PM »
It's your pool. You don't have to let them use it. Having boundaries is perfectly acceptable.

Being weird about the boundaries is going to weird things up. I wouldn't do it with a text or even over the phone. If you want to maintain the relationship, I would definitely invite them over for dinner. And I would definitely have an in person, face to face conversation about what happened with the pool. Just ask straightforwardly and non-confrontationally, and then say you're sorry, but you're nervous about kids in the pool when you're not there and can't continue letting them use it.

Then invite them over at a specific time to use the pool in your presence. No hard feelings!

Personally, I'm pretty sure that if I had a pool I'd be terrified of the liability and would feel the exact same way about kids using it when I was away. And I have two kids.

A word about boundaries: my closest friends have said no to requests that we've made of this nature. It didn't make me angry at them for saying no. I respected their no and felt no differently towards them whatsoever. Healthy people can handle it when their requests are denied in a reasonable manner.

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Abe

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 06:20:35 PM »
You may be liable for any injuries involving the pool, even if you are not present at the time, if you allow someone to use the pool when you are not present. My family had a pool in the backyard and routinely got requests like this. We never let anyone use it without my parents around.

Melisande

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 06:37:53 PM »
OK, looks like some consensus is forming here. This leads me to my next question. What if the girls decide to take things into their own hands and come over to swim anyway -- without their parents' consent? I am getting paranoid enough that I'm thinking of locking up the pool lanai before we leave. However, in this case, the pool people cannot get in to clean it. (The screens lock, but there is no key. They can only be opened from the inside and we are not giving the pool people the keys to our house.) Is it OK to leave a pool uncleaned for 2-3 weeks? Will we have a legal leg to stand on if we told the the family that they were not allowed to use the pool and they (or the kids) used it anyway?

Lepetitange3

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 06:43:11 PM »
We have two levels of fencing around our pool which are locked for the liability reason.  Basically, I'm not liable because you have to break in to use my pool without permission/my presence.  I would not allow people in your pool without you there.  If you want to soften the awkward, just say you were talking to a lawyer friend who told you never to let anyone use your pool if you weren't there. 

lizzzi

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 06:48:21 PM »
I've lived in two homes over the years that had nice, in-ground pools. No neighbors ever asked to use them while we were away,  and we would have said "no" in any case, due to the reasons stated above. I wouldn't have had any compunction about pleading safety and liability issues. Plus...well hey...it's our pool. If you want a pool, build your own. I think one thing that helped our peace of mind was good fences and locked gates.  It would have been difficult to scale the fences and get into the pools, and trespassers in the second pool would have been visible from the street. I've lived in homes with no pool, but with neighbors who did have a pool. It never would have occurred to me in a million years to ask to use their pool while they were away. Just not my space. Good boundaries make for good neighbors.

Regarding maintenance--we took care of our first pool ourselves, and just let it go lime-green while we were away. We had a pool girl for the second pool, and she had the key for the locked gate...but there was no access to the house.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 06:52:53 PM »
I would make sure to put on the pool cover when you leave for any vacation (no matter how short the trip might be), lock the gates/fences, and tell the neighbors that the pool is off limits when you are not there due to liability issues. I wouldn't do this mean or anything, but I would just make sure to tell them how concerned you are and you are very worried now that you are having neighbor kids you don't even know ask about using your pool, and that the idea of any child wandering into your pool when you aren't there and injuring themselves or worse keeps you up at night and you very much want to make sure that never happens.

I also wonder if the whole neighborhood knows when you leave if their children are inviting the other children to go swimming in your absence. THAT would kind of piss me off, and I'd be very concerned if any area teens start using your home for clandestine drinking/swim parties if their little brother or sister lets slip that Jessica's mommy is watching that house with the pool because the people who live there are on vacation so they got to go swimming...

I'd just delay the pool maintenance while gone. Even if it costs a bit more to get it back into usable shape once you're home - covering may be taking it to an extreme (and just saw you have a screened enclosure so you may not even have a cover), but I'd lock it all up and stress to the neighbor that no one is to use the pool when you are not home, period.

If you don't mind the one friend neighbor's children using it when you are home, you can tell them that. And lay out any other rules - like one of the parents need to be there with them, children can't invite more friends, etc. And if/when they do ask, if it is awkward or you'll be leaving in a short time, let them know if today is not a good time (like you did with the stranger kids already) or make a firm time limit: "Hey, Mary - the kids can swim now, but we have to leave for an appointment in 45 minutes, so I'll let you know about 10 minutes before so you have time to pack up their toys and get dried off and shoes on to go home."

And I would actually not tell them any more about when you go on vacation. If something happens, they already have your contact info, and you say yourself they do literally nothing at all. A flyer or two or a newspaper in the driveway isn't the worst thing in the world if your neighbors generally even notice such things. And if it gets broken into or catches fire, they'll call you anyway.


If they don't have the "responsibility" of your property, then they won't take advantage of it either. 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 06:55:07 PM by Frankies Girl »
I frequently have no idea what I'm talking about. Like now.

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Smokystache

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 07:28:32 PM »
For the record, I generally have a "clear boundaries & honesty" policy....

However, if you're looking for a way to keep them out of the pool, just could tell them: "By the way, we had the pool water tested yesterday and it has some 'stuff' in it. We added some special chemicals to the pool to treat it, but the pool store told us not to let anyone in it for XX days. If people are in the pool, it will cause major skin problems." This could backfire - but it might not.

Melisande

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 07:51:40 PM »
Wow. I can't believe how concerned I've gotten about this over the last few hours. But I think I was wrong to be almost totally unconcerned before.

So this is what my husband and I have decided:

1) I will have a talk in person with neighbor Mom tomorrow and let her know that we are sorry but the pool is going to be off limits from now on. (Bad news always best delivered in person.)
2) We will install new handles/locks on the screen door so that they can be unlocked with a key from the outside. (As it stands now they can only be locked/unlocked from the inside, so we have to leave them unlocked so the pool guy can get in.)
3) if we can't get the new handles with locks installed in time, we won't have the neighbors watch our house this time, but have a non-neighbor friend come over every few days instead.


backyardfeast

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 09:33:34 PM »
This is a bit of delicate situation, but I agree that the liability issue is one that you can use to handle the issue diplomatically.  I wouldn't go with step 3, though, as I think it could come off as insulting or that you don't find them trustworthy.

Could you have a conversation with them where you express huge appreciation for all the help they've given you over the years, and then explain that you've been worrying about this liability issue, and tell the story of the neighbour girl.  Let them know that you have decided it's important that you keep the doors locked, etc while you are away, as Frankie's Girl says, "because I just couldn't live with myself if anything happened."  Ie, make it about you, not them.

Then I would again express great appreciation for everything they've done, and tell them that you completely understand if they'd rather not have the responsibility anymore.  Leave it to them to decide whether they want to continue and that you can find someone else, if they'd rather not.

You might also consider having a little pool party with them before you leave, just to ensure that you're happy to share the pool when you're around?  A kind of send-off last hurrah before the locks go on?

I think, given the circumstances of your relationship in the community, it's really important to strive for no hard feelings and lots of appreciation.

jim555

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 06:56:14 AM »
Someone drowns and they start suing you.  No way would I let anyone use my pool if I was on vacation.
Just tell them straight, due to potential liability no one uses the pool.

Melisande

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 12:09:14 PM »
I'm heading out to Home Depot this afternoon to get the appropriate parts or an entirely new set of screen doors w/ keyed locks and will have the talk with the neighbors tonight. I just checked our Home Owner's Insurance and we have $300,000 of personal liability coverage. Do you think this is adequate?

Lepetitange3

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 12:16:22 PM »
300k is enough if it's locked and you've made it clear they can't be in it.  Really, maybe a text or email because it's written and you can point to it if later-God forbid- something happens and they try to say they were allowed in.  You can do this nicely still what with the dinner others are suggesting and the whole oh my lawyer says heaven forbid a child drown, I need to lock everything up, till it's too much liability, I could never live with myself if something happened.  Nice nice nice and then a follow up text after having that conversation in person.  "So nice to chat the other day.  Thanks for understanding that we can't let anyone use the pool if we aren't home!"

englishteacheralex

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 12:16:38 PM »
Ah, insurance. A topic which I have been researching lately.

My rule with insurance is that you insure for things that will bankrupt you, not for things you can afford to replace. Therefore, I have the maximum liability insurance possible with my car insurance and my homeowner's insurance. This is pretty cheap and gives me peace of mind.

The rule with liability in general seems to be that if you have assets in excess of 1/2 a million dollars you should start thinking about umbrella/high levels of liability. Less conservative people seem to put the number at a million.

For us, we max out the liability in homeowners and car insurance (500,000 each) and decided to skip umbrella insurance, which you didn't ask about, because our assets don't warrant it.
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merula

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 12:45:50 PM »
I've worked in insurance for 10+ years. The industry itself is incredibly paranoid, and I know I've become more paranoid than average working here. And I think you're worrying too much.

(1) What happens if you keep doing what you've been doing? (Leaving the pool somewhat unlocked, granting your adult neighbors permission to use it, etc.) Probably nothing, assuming that your local statute doesn't require that the pool be locked up. If one of your neighbors were to get hurt while using the pool, you might be liable, you might not be. If some kids snuck into your pool unsupervised, my opinion would be that you would be somewhat less liable than if their parents were there, but then the likelihood of someone getting hurt without adult supervision is higher.

(2) What happens if you install new locks, but still have the neighbors watch the house (including giving them a key) and let them use the pool while you're gone? You're probably in about the same place as the situation above, although you wouldn't have to worry about unsupervised children.

(3) What happens if you totally lock down your pool in all possible ways, but someone breaks in anyway? Very, very unlikely that you would be held liable in this situation.

(4) Is your insurance adequate? Well, I don't know. If you got sued for eleventy bazillion dollars, what happens? Your insurance company pays for the initial defense and $300,000 of injuries. After that, if a court determines that you owe more than $300,000 for whatever injuries, that difference is out of your pocket. But, you could declare bankruptcy, which would wipe out that debt. Many types of assets are protected in bankruptcy, including IRAs, 401(k)s in most situations, and typically your primary residence, although the value that's protected depends on the state. The other part of this is that NOT having high insurance limits can discourage lawsuits before they begin.

So, how much of your assets are outside of your retirement accounts and house? Is the value of protecting those assets worth the cost to you of an Umbrella insurance policy? Only you can answer that. But, for me, I have the exact same limit and no umbrella.

Are you uncomfortable with anyone using your pool when you're not around, or are you just uncomfortable with unsupervised children using the pool? I think you should figure out what you want and then go with that. As a parent, if I heard anything that implied that my child had used a pool without supervision, I would be so grateful to the person telling me. So, I think you can definitely say "I wanted to let you know, Suzie came over with some friends to ask about using the pool, and she said "again". I wasn't sure if she meant when you used it back in May or a different time, but I did want to bring it up because unsupervised pool use is a big concern and I'd hate to see anyone get hurt."

mxt0133

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2017, 01:06:11 PM »

The rule with liability in general seems to be that if you have assets in excess of 1/2 a million dollars you should start thinking about umbrella/high levels of liability. Less conservative people seem to put the number at a million.


Note that assets in retirement accounts are protected from liability or bankruptcy cases.  401k having higher protections than traditional IRAs which vary state by state.

But in general I agree you should have a general umbrella insurance for liability if you don't want to loose your stache.


http://www.latimes.com/la-ira-story3-story.html
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/are-my-retirement-accounts-protected-from-judgment-creditors-california.html

merula

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2017, 02:54:18 PM »

The rule with liability in general seems to be that if you have assets in excess of 1/2 a million dollars you should start thinking about umbrella/high levels of liability. Less conservative people seem to put the number at a million.


Note that assets in retirement accounts are protected from liability or bankruptcy cases.  401k having higher protections than traditional IRAs which vary state by state.

But in general I agree you should have a general umbrella insurance for liability if you don't want to loose your stache.


http://www.latimes.com/la-ira-story3-story.html
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/are-my-retirement-accounts-protected-from-judgment-creditors-california.html

This is maybe getting too far from the original question, but I would disagree that there's any sort of "rule" about when to get an umbrella, whether it be $500k plus or "if you don't want to lose your stache".

I'll use myself as an example. Here are my asset categories:
-House and personal contents (fully protected under my state's law)
-Car (fully protected under my state's law)
-401k (fully protected under federal law unless I do something weird)
-IRA (fully protected under federal law)
-529 plans (mostly protected under federal law except for certain recent contributions)
-Taxable brokerage account (not protected)
-Checking/Savings accounts (not protected)

The assets I have that are not protected by bankruptcy law represent <10% of my total stache. Given this, I have decided to accept the risk of claims in excess of my $300k auto and personal liability limits.

Someone who has the same amount of assets might have less that's protected, or they might have exposures that make a large loss more likely. (Although large losses are really, really, really, REALLY rare. To give you some idea, across the entire insurance industry, umbrella policies make about twice the profit for the carriers than the primary policies do.)

There's no one-size-fits-all answer, it depends on the assets and how comfortable you are with the risk.

That said, even if you buy an umbrella, you're always going to be self-insuring for SOME level of risk. You could buy a $1,000,000 umbrella and get hit with a $2,000,000 claim. You could buy a $5,000,000 umbrella and get hit with a $10,000,000 claim.

Melisande

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2017, 03:18:04 PM »
Thanks for all the really detailed posts re: insurance. I am still processing them, but I can say that most all of our investments are in Roth IRAs and retirement, although not 401(k) but whatever it is that civil servants have, 457(b) maybe? But even if this is so, I know that we have more than one kind. Sorry, I should know this.

I talked with neighbor Mom. Curiously, when I went over, she seemed apprehensive and immediately asked if her kids had done anything wrong. I think they might have been doing something wrong, but I breezed over that and got to the point. Really sorry, but no more pool usage allowed. Mr. Melisande insists that the liability risks are just too great. (He said I could go ahead and blame him if it would make things easier.) She immediately breathed a sigh of relief and had no problem with the kids not using our pool. I think she was worried about the situation too (and also feeling guilty about *something*).

I also now have two new keyed door handles (only $25 at Home Depot). Now we're going to see if we are handy enough to install them ourselves. (Probably not).


merula

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2017, 04:20:30 PM »
Glad your talk went well!

whatever it is that civil servants have, 457(b) maybe? But even if this is so, I know that we have more than one kind.

I should've been more accurate. I was using 401k as a blanket term, when it really isn't.

ERISA (federal law) protection extends to:
-401(k)s
-403(b) or profit sharing plans
-457(b) deferred compensation plans
-governmental plans, and
-tax exempt organizational retirement plans. 

(http://www.thebankruptcysite.org/resources/bankruptcy/exemptions/keep-retirement-accounts-bankruptcy.htm)

Whatever retirement plan you have is highly likely to be protected by ERISA, meaning that it is sheltered from creditors.

Dezrah

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2017, 05:07:18 PM »
Your initial question is basically a textbook Law School question.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attractive_nuisance_doctrine

Basically, if you leave your beautiful pool unattended with cookies and lemonade surrounding it, you could be liable for any injury suffered by children who couldn't resist the temptation. 

Ultimately it comes down to who has the better lawyers, but you can make their job easier by posting signs, adding locks, spreading the word, etc.

Even if you lost a tort, odds are the attorneys would simply settle at the policy limit, especially if you don't openly flaunt your actual wealth.

Silverado

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2017, 05:15:53 PM »
Thanks for all the really detailed posts re: insurance. I am still processing them, but I can say that most all of our investments are in Roth IRAs and retirement, although not 401(k) but whatever it is that civil servants have, 457(b) maybe? But even if this is so, I know that we have more than one kind. Sorry, I should know this.

I talked with neighbor Mom. Curiously, when I went over, she seemed apprehensive and immediately asked if her kids had done anything wrong. I think they might have been doing something wrong, but I breezed over that and got to the point. Really sorry, but no more pool usage allowed. Mr. Melisande insists that the liability risks are just too great. (He said I could go ahead and blame him if it would make things easier.) She immediately breathed a sigh of relief and had no problem with the kids not using our pool. I think she was worried about the situation too (and also feeling guilty about *something*).

I also now have two new keyed door handles (only $25 at Home Depot). Now we're going to see if we are handy enough to install them ourselves. (Probably not).

Congrats on what seems like a good outcome. Way to face it head on.

Cassie

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2017, 05:25:19 PM »
My parents had a pool when we were kids and no way could other kids come to swim if they were not home and we did not get it approved beforehand.  They wanted to supervise because of liability and had a locked gate/fence, etc. I think you did the smart thing and glad the outcome was good.

Laura33

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2017, 06:49:01 AM »
Your initial question is basically a textbook Law School question.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attractive_nuisance_doctrine

Basically, if you leave your beautiful pool unattended with cookies and lemonade surrounding it, you could be liable for any injury suffered by children who couldn't resist the temptation. 

Ultimately it comes down to who has the better lawyers, but you can make their job easier by posting signs, adding locks, spreading the word, etc.

Even if you lost a tort, odds are the attorneys would simply settle at the policy limit, especially if you don't openly flaunt your actual wealth.

I was going to say this, except for the last part -- don't count on any judgment being limited to the policy limits.  Yes, most cases settle at the policy limits, because most people don't have assets that make it worth going to trial over.  But any lawyer worth his salt is going to ask for discovery regarding what assets you have that could cover the judgment.  So if you have a $300K policy and $1MM in Vanguard, you can expect them to want both.

I would also suspect the likelihood of a big judgment is pretty high, because the person most likely to be hurt/killed is a kid.  Kids generally are entitled to be stupider than adults (and so are more likely to win at trial), and the judgment is likely to be higher (many years of lost income to cover + high sympathy factor).

Tl;dr:  Good job with the door locks and cutting off access.  You don't want to have to live with someone getting injured for financial OR emotional reasons.
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pbkmaine

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2017, 06:57:19 AM »
"Our attorney has told us that we can't let others use our pool when we are away due to liability issues. We are so sorry!"

Melisande

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2017, 11:53:08 AM »
Your initial question is basically a textbook Law School question.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attractive_nuisance_doctrine

Basically, if you leave your beautiful pool unattended with cookies and lemonade surrounding it, you could be liable for any injury suffered by children who couldn't resist the temptation. 

Ultimately it comes down to who has the better lawyers, but you can make their job easier by posting signs, adding locks, spreading the word, etc.

Even if you lost a tort, odds are the attorneys would simply settle at the policy limit, especially if you don't openly flaunt your actual wealth.

Thanks. Actually I'm feeling a little sad about the situation. If it weren't for the fear of litigation, I'd be very happy to let other people use our pool. We're away a lot and when we're here we hardly ever use it. Besides, it's fun to share.

I was going to say this, except for the last part -- don't count on any judgment being limited to the policy limits.  Yes, most cases settle at the policy limits, because most people don't have assets that make it worth going to trial over.  But any lawyer worth his salt is going to ask for discovery regarding what assets you have that could cover the judgment.  So if you have a $300K policy and $1MM in Vanguard, you can expect them to want both.

I would also suspect the likelihood of a big judgment is pretty high, because the person most likely to be hurt/killed is a kid.  Kids generally are entitled to be stupider than adults (and so are more likely to win at trial), and the judgment is likely to be higher (many years of lost income to cover + high sympathy factor).

Tl;dr:  Good job with the door locks and cutting off access.  You don't want to have to live with someone getting injured for financial OR emotional reasons.

Thanks, but I'm actually feeling sad about the situation. If it weren't for possible litigation, I'd be very happy to let others use our pool. We're away a lot and when we're here we hardly ever use it. Besides, it's fun to share.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 11:55:20 AM by Melisande »

Cwadda

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2017, 12:14:52 PM »
I'd definitely still invite them over when you're home. It'd be nice to have get togethers and barbecues. That way you can continue the house watching relationship, too! Win-win!

Melisande

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2017, 03:34:59 PM »
But in terms of liability, it doesn't matter if we invite them or not, nor if we are present or not. In fact, if we did invite them over for a pool party, something horrible happened, and they did decide to sue, they would be more likely to win a case than if they had used the pool without our express permission in our absense (what we are concerned about now).


rbuck

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2017, 05:11:46 PM »
So I've been lurking here for months and finally something I can contribute to. So I to work in the insurance industry but specifically in claims. So will I'm not as paranoid as the underwriters I get to see how issues play out in front of a jury and how case law involved. Depending on your state pools are likely to be considered an attractive nuisance. What this means is that you the owner have an object on your property that can reasonably be assumed to attract children. Should you fail to take measures such as fencing in the pool and locking the gate that you can be held strictly liable if a child was to come onto your property and get injured in the pool. The two biggest issues here is that (1) the child doesn't have to have your permission to be on your property since the pool is considered an attractive nuisance (in most states you have no duty warn trespassers) and (2) under strict liability doctrine you are assumed to be at fault and must prove your innocence.

Rocket

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2017, 05:25:47 PM »
If I had a pool I would have a security camera covering it.  One that emailed me when motion was detected that I could then view on my phone. 

Lepetitange3

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2017, 05:38:55 PM »
Gotta love the states that don't accept pools as an attractive nuisance  ...florida ;)

Out of the Blue

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2017, 12:55:05 AM »
Thanks, but I'm actually feeling sad about the situation. If it weren't for possible litigation, I'd be very happy to let others use our pool. We're away a lot and when we're here we hardly ever use it. Besides, it's fun to share.

Yeah, the incredibly litigious environment isn't very pleasant is it?  If your pool was here in NZ, there'd be no issue from a liability standpoint.  No one is allowed to sue for compensatory damages for personal injury in NZ.  (Punitive/exemplary damages are possible, but you would have had to be grossly negligent or worse and even then, sums are likely to be modest.) 

I used to be a bit outraged at the prohibition for personal injury claims in NZ but now I do think our society is better off as a result.

stacieh

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2017, 12:39:04 PM »
If I had a pool I would have a security camera covering it.  One that emailed me when motion was detected that I could then view on my phone.

I agree with this poster, get a camera (NEST cameras are good at this). Your husband is right; the pool is a liability and a law suit waiting to happen. I wouldn't mention to my neighbors I'm going out of town this next time; sure you won't have free flyers picked up, but how many possibly could pile up while you're gone. Perhaps, putting a small "no soliciting" sign, by your front walk/porch would prevent such flyers from being left. I would call your local PD and let them know you will be out of town; I used to do this all the time and they would send an extra patrol by the house and already be alerted to look for suspicious activity should they see something off.

If your neighbor says something upon your return about you not asking them to watch the house, just say you didn't want to trouble them for such a long period of time and leave it at that. If they do not know you're out of town, they should not be  in the backyard using your pool. The camera would help you identify if pool use is a common problem when you're not home.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2017, 01:01:26 PM »
If I had a pool I would have a security camera covering it.  One that emailed me when motion was detected that I could then view on my phone.

Agree.  We got the Arlo Pros on a Costco sale - 2 cameras + outdoor mount + wireless router for $179.  Opened up the app and set it all up in about 20-30 minutes.  Get alerts on my phone when motion is detected, can opt to "go live" and watch if I want to, otherwise it records a 10 second clip.  Free 7 day storage with Arlo/Netgear, but an option to pay for more.
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Sibley

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Re: Delicate social situation: Please advise
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2017, 01:26:18 PM »
OP, I'm going to ask the elephant in the room question. You state you're away from home a lot, and when you are home, you hardly use the pool.

Why do you still have the house? Or the pool? Move somewhere cheaper. You could even look for a condo or something with a community pool. Problem solved.