• Phil Griffis

New Suit Takes Aim at the Last of the High Diving Boards

Updated: Mar 23, 2019

We baby boomers used to enjoy what were called “high diving boards”.  That is a board higher than the now-standard 18 inches above the water.  But with the rise of the personal injury lawsuit they gradually became extinct, along with Lawn Darts, Clackers and other toys that were actually fun.  Even at age ten we all realized that you had to climb carefully, not run and look out below.  And we all (parents included) knew that a fall from one could and would hurt.  Now when I’m swimming my laps I routinely see parents of young children barely allowing their kids to jump off of a board barely higher than a large step.

And a new lawsuit is targeting the owner of one of the last remaining recreational high diving boards in Texas.  As reported in the Waco Tribune Herald, the family of a thirteen year old boy has sued the owners of a historical West, Texas swimming pool after he sustained severe injuries after a fall from its high diving board.

The suit alleges “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”. It then claims “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’s injuries were serious.  He suffered a concussion and a broken leg that was surgically repaired.   The family alleges that the owners of the pool did not carry insurance to cover injuries to swimmers.   They claim the pool was negligent in not having enough lifeguards and other attendants to monitor swimmers in the pool.  At the age of 13, the boy is legally incapable of negligence, and so his fault cannot be considered.

Hopefully the boy will get well soon.  Hopefully the pool will obtain insurance.  And hopefully someday kids will get to again experience the rush of a real diving board.



Phil Griffis obtained his first jury verdict in 1990, when he convinced a jury that a customer’s fall at his client’s store did not cause the customer’s aspiration pneumonia and stroke. In the years since he has continued to win in courtrooms across the State of Texas.


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