In the News: Septic Tank Fall Claim After Family Loses Two-Year Old
A 2-year-old-boy, Orion Fenstra, was killed after falling into an uncovered septic well during a family visit to a residence in the 20000 block of Sanchez Lane in Burlington, Skagit County. Reports indicate that the child wandered away from where his family was visiting the family living at the property. Shortly after the boy was reported missing, the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office responded and found the boy in the septic well. At the time of the search, the septic well was covered, but officers discovered that it was uncovered earlier in the day resulting in the accidental fall. Emergency response teams were not able to resuscitate Orion. Only a month before the Skagit County incident, a five-year-old boy, Noah Thomas, was found in a Dublin, Virginia septic talk.
Accidental Falls into Septic Wells:
As investigators look into precisely what happened the day of Orion’s death, they must determine whether or not his death was caused by negligence on the part of the property owner or the company that may have performed service on the septic tank before the incident. Septic tank fall accidents involving child fatalities are far too common. There are an estimated 50 deaths due to accidental falls into septic tanks every year, along with many serious injuries. In some cases, septic tank covers are too light and easy to move; children can move them on their own. In other cases, covers are damaged or fragile. Accidental falls can occur when a child steps on the cover and falls through because the cover does not retain its integrity.
Decreasing the Number of Accidental Falls into Septic Tanks:
Septic tanks are a form of sewage facility. Approximately 25% of US properties rely on septic tanks for sewage management and control with most of the properties located in small towns or rural regions. Septic tanks or septic wells should never be left open or unattended while open for any reason because it is far too easy for someone to fall in and drown. If a septic tank is no longer needed or in use, the well should be decommissioned and filled to remove the threat of any potential danger. Sadly, safety precautions intended to minimize accidental death and injury due to septic tank falls are not always followed by septic tank manufacturers and installers.
Property owners of locations with active septic tank systems or septic wells that are not in use, but still pose a safety risk, must maintain proper safety measures. Septic tanks are a known hazard, so homeowners and renters of properties with septic tanks must check to ensure septic tanks are covered and that the covers are strong enough to avoid the risk of someone falling through it if they step on it or walk on it.
If you or someone you love is injured or killed due to an accidental fall into a septic tank, please get in touch with our experienced personal injury attorneys at Carrollton’s Hudson Law Firm. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.