The family of an Axtell boy who was injured when he fell from the high diving board at the Playdium Pool in West has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the historic public swimming pool.
William and Jenny Hogan, the parents of Jacob Hogan, are claiming that negligence by the owners of the pool, James L. Kolacek and Christy Kolacek, led to Jacob’s injuries on Aug. 10, 2014.
Messages left at the pool and on James Kolacek’s cellphone were not returned Wednesday.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in 170th State District Court on the family’s behalf by Waco attorneys John P. Mabry Jr. and John L. Lewis, says Jacob Hogan, who was 13 at the time, was preparing to jump from the high diving board.
“After reaching the top of the high dive and making sure that there were not swimmers below, Jacob began running toward the end of the diving board to jump off of it into the pool,” the lawsuit states. “However, another child swam under the high dive after jumping in the pool from the adjacent low diving board while Jacob was running. Therefore, Jacob grabbed the railing in an effort to stop his momentum and avoid jumping onto and injuring the child below, but his momentum swung him out and off of the diving board, and he fell to the concrete below.”
The boy suffered a concussion and a broken right leg that required surgery. Two rods were inserted in his leg to repair the injuries, Mabry said, adding that the family’s medical expenses were $74,102.
“Jacob is a good kid who got hurt while trying to avoid injuring another child, and the Playdium Pool has done nothing for him and his family,” Mabry said.
Mabry said he received a letter from the Kolaceks that said the pool has no insurance coverage.
The pool was built in 1945 and holds 1.2 million gallons of water, according to the Playdium Facebook page.
“Operating a public recreational swimming pool, where children can get hurt, without insurance, is simply irresponsible,” Mabry said. “Swimming pools and diving boards are inherently dangerous, but the owners of the Playdium Pool did not care enough about their patrons to have insurance in case they got hurt.”
The lawsuit claims the owners of the pool were negligent by failing to provide a safe environment for children and by not having sufficient staff and lifeguards on duty to “properly control children on its premises and/or under its care.”