Community swimming pool closes due to lawsuit


When the Mt. Laurel Pool in Hazleton, Pennsylvania closed, the community was devastated. “A lot of kids lived for that. They loved it,” says Paul Wanuga, a Hazleton resident. “And it was good because it kept kids out of trouble” in a community where residents say there is too much vandalism and crime. But a lawsuit shuttered the pool, and the once pristine facility is now in shambles.

The pool and its founder, Evelyn Graham, welcomed thousands of swimmers every summer for more than ten years. Mt. Laurel Pool provided a gathering place for families and neighbors and summer jobs for teenagers. One former lifeguard says, “When you’re younger, it is difficult to find a place of employment, and Evelyn gave us that opportunity to have a place to learn good work ethics.”

One summer, despite rules painted on the sidewalk and a warning from the lifeguard, a man ran and jumped into the pool, cutting his heel. “There was nothing we did wrong. He did it to himself,” the pool manager says. The lifeguard and manager cleaned and bandaged the cut, and the manager recalls that he said “It’s nothing. It’s just a little cut… No problem.”

But, later, Mt. Laurel Pool was sued. The man and his wife claimed $100,000 for the injury, and Graham’s lawyers recommended that she settle what she considered to be a wildly frivolous case. She was baffled, and, fearing copy cat lawsuits, she decided to close the pool.

In the end, it was the community that suffered most. Hazleton families no longer have a place to swim, and everyone from the ticket takers to the management lost their jobs. “They sue when they shouldn’t sue,” Wanuga says. “But then we have lawyers who thrive on it. They love it. They wish you would sue, too.”

“I’m sure they have other motives in mind,” says a former lifeguard, “but they can’t possibly take into consideration what it’s doing to everybody else.”

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67 Responses

  1. CMS says:

    I would really like to know if the owner carried liability insurance??? This is a ridiculous lawsuit, but she should have had coverage that would have handled this……running a pool is a naturally risky business. $100,000 is not a lot for a lawsuit in the big picture. Does anyone know if she had insurance or not?? And listen….this has nothing to do with politics…’s common sense that this is ridiculous and we should all work to reform laws that allow this.

  2. Becky says:

    The question shouldn’t be whether she had insurance or not. It should be whatever happened to personal responsibility? You expect an ADULT would obey the rules. So this guy disobeys the rules, gets himself hurt and then the pansy sues? Geez what is wrong with this country? I wonder if those two even realize what their lawsuit has done? Do they even care as long as “they get theirs?”

  3. Bonnie says:

    T h e people should do a civil suit against the man that was running for causing the pool to close down and take away jobs and entertainment for the kids

  4. Oscette says:

    What Mrs. Graham doesn’t tell anyone is that she had an offer to sell the pool to a New Jersey Businessman, and told him it wasn’t financial feasible. Then told the Standard-Speaker, no one wanted to buy it.

  5. Missy says:

    I hope she backfills the pool or next you know, some kids will breach all security measures, get drunk or high, then fall in the abandoned pool and get injured or drown (or swim in it and get sick). Then the drunkard and/or his/her family can get rich by hitting the Idiot Lottery.

    And you know what Oscette? I don’t care if she had dozens of offers. The properly tagged pansy and his harpy wife INJURED the community of Hazleton, PA by their childishness, irresponsibility and greed. They should be deeply ashamed. The pansy and the harpy owe that community a pool, seeing as how they stole it.

  6. Peter says:

    This is what happens when those kids that needed crossguards and school buses to stop all traffic on the road grow up. Those kids have no responsibility for their actions and if they get hurt they believe it’s natural that someone else take care of it. This is America, this is what you’re all proud of.

  7. K Jenkins says:

    I hope the couple who brought the lawsuit were and still are totally SHUNNED by the entire community They should be shamed publicly, IMHO.

  8. The owner of the pool should now file a counter suit in the amount of one million dollars against the couple that stole her pool and livelihood, from her and the community.
    Perhaps if there were more people willing to fight for their rights and the rights of the community at large, perhaps many of these frivolous lawsuits could and would be avoided.

  9. SteveP says:

    This is the sort of thing that can happen when judges no longer ‘judge’ and lawyers care little for justice.

    They really, really ought to consider a class action suit against the frivolous lawsuit dude.

  10. Randy says:

    What a crying shame! My company has been the victim of a frivolous lawsuit and it’s not pretty.

    Lazy people who EXPECT a free ride from the gov’t & even society have NO PLACE in my heart and definitely no place in my life.

    I’d don’t condone revenge, but I’d be the leader of a mob with torches & pitchforks if I lived in that community!

  11. johno says:

    I worked in a shipping warehouse in Conn. for the sumer. A burglar fell through a skylight WITH his burglar tools. He sued for a unmarked skylight on a roof that was not accesible without a ladder on private property. The warehouse was forced to go out of business rather than pay the high lawsiut.

  12. Hester says:

    This should have been tossed out by a judge, and the attorney should be disbarred. All these lawsuits started a few years back when the powers that be decided attorneys could advertise…………

    shame, shame on all the greed in this country.

  13. jesse says:

    I hope the people who sued get their names published , let the community take it from there.

  14. I think it is awful that people sue over stupid stuff, he probably planned it that way before he even went to the pool or he would have gone by and obeyed the rules.

  15. Linda says:

    What i want to know is WTH is up with these judges ALLOWING these kinds of awards on frivolous suits!

  16. Richard Wagener says:

    Liberal nuts have done more damage to our kids and this country than all the terrorists could ever hope to. The Courts and lawyers have betrayed us. Political Correctness is what liberals thrive on. We need a bunch of Godfearing people, with common sense to take over. Just like the people we have been watching who were hit with the tornado in OK this week. Most of the Pansy Liberals have way, way to much time on their hands, and haven’t the common sense necessary to survive without the normal people protecting, producing the necessities of life so these idiot Libs can survive.

  17. Liz Hamilton says:

    Because of this greedy person, everyone lost a fun experience

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