Death of Abigail Taylor
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Abigail Rose Taylor (May 24, 2001 – March 20, 2008) was a young girl from Edina, Minnesota, whose accidental injury and eventual death led to new federal legislation in the United States to improve the safety of swimming pools.
Description of the incident
On June 29, 2007, six-year-old Abigail Taylor's parents took her to the Minneapolis Golf Club in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Everyone was leaving the wading pool when Abigail Taylor accidentally fell on the open drain of the pool and her buttocks were sucked into the aperture. The suction dislodged a large section of her small intestine which was forcefully drawn out through the anus, a phenomenon known as transanal evisceration.
The incident was similar to a 1993 incident in North Carolina involving Valerie Lakey, who was five years old at the time. The pool drains in question in both the Taylor and the Lakey cases were manufactured by Sta-Rite, a division of Minnesota-based Pentair.
The incident has been described by some media reports as a "freak accident". However, the risk of this sort of accident has been published before in the United States, and cases in other countries have also been documented. Furthermore, Abigail's parents alleged that the golf club "was aware of the serious risk to swimmers in the kiddie pool [...] but did not take action to eliminate that risk". They also alleged that the manufacturer of the drain outlet was aware of the potential risk, but failed to issue adequate warnings. The family filed suit against both parties.
Injury and subsequent death
Abigail lost 6.5 meters (21 feet) of her small intestine in the accident, leaving her with short bowel syndrome. Following the accident, Abigail was hospitalized and received a rare triple organ transplant to replace her small intestine, liver, and pancreas, all of which were damaged in the accident. She was unable to eat or drink, and she required total parenteral nutrition. Abigail died nine months after the accident because of a transplant-related cancer. She was six years old at the time of her death.
- Abigail Rose Taylor at Find a Grave
- "Family Reaches Settlement that Guarantees $25 Million Payment". WRAL-TV (RALEIGH). January 14, 1997. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
- "Wading Pool Drain Sucks Out Girl's Organ". WSB Atlanta (MINNEAPOLIS). 5 Jul 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
- Industry article on the danger
- Report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
- Text of the lawsuit by Abigail's parents