How a Pool Party Put One DJ’s Business Under Water
With 10 years of experience in the disc jockey business, Davia Dillon had it all figured out. Her business was thriving and she was firmly established as the area’s premier DJ for kids’ parties. Davia’s target market was made up of affluent parents who spared no expense on their children. Fortunately for Davia, many of these families had parties several times a year. They never shopped prices, or even considered other disc jockeys. If Davia was available, she got the job. It was a sweet situation, until August 24, that is.
On August 24, Davia was hired to DJ a pool party for the Wells family. She was to entertain 50 children while their parents enjoyed a wine-tasting event elsewhere on the family estate. Of course, she already had all the right music and a full suite of pool party games. She considered bringing an assistant to help her manage the children, but quickly dismissed the idea. She’d had no trouble entertaining 50 children in the past. Why would this gig be any different?
Marco Polo gone wrong
The first hour of the pool party went exactly as planned. Davia played all the most popular tunes and the kids swam and played an informal game of water basketball. As they moved into the second hour, Davia organized a game of Marco Polo and the children enthusiastically participated. At one point, an exceptionally gifted swimmer and leader named Robbie was playing the role of Marco. He seemed to have things under control so Davia left for a quick bathroom break. However, when she returned to the pool, the game had dissolved into chaos and Robbie seemed to be missing in action. After talking to a few children, she learned that while swimming with his eyes closed, Robbie had accidentally smashed into the side of the pool, headfirst.
Where was Robbie now? No one seemed to know. Davia checked all around the area and in the bathroom with no luck. She returned to pool and noticed a strange shadow beneath the large floating basketball hoop. She moved the hoop and her heart skipped a beat. There was Robbie, lying at the bottom of the pool. Davia shouted for the children to call 9-1-1 while she dove in to save Robbie. When she pulled him out of the water, he was not breathing.
Only a few minutes passed until the ambulance arrived and the parents were alerted. But those few minutes felt like hours. Davia performed CPR as her heart raced. Thankfully, the paramedics were able to revive Robbie and for a few days, it seemed that everything would be OK.
Then, things went terribly wrong. Robbie’s parents sued Davia for damages in the amount of $1 million. They alleged that her negligence caused his near-drowning and resulting brain damage. Davia had never been sued before. She was shocked to learn that attorneys charge $350 an hour! After months of litigation, the jury hit Davia with a finding of contributory negligence at a cost of $497,000.
Unfortunately, Davia not only neglected the children, she also neglected to protect her assets with DJ-tailored insurance. She had to cash out her life savings and sell her professional equipment, her car, and her home to cover the damages.
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Note: These examples are based on real claims scenarios. However, the details have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of those involved.