Missouri Drowning Leads to Bill Mandating Insurance for Water Parks

The drowning of a Joplin, Missouri boy has led to House passage of legislation requiring for-profit swimming pools to have liability insurance.

The legislation is named for 6-year-old Ethan Cory, who died in July on a field trip to business called the Swimmin’ Hole.

The bill would require the owners of private, for-profit water parks to purchase at least $1 million worth of liability insurance. Those that operate without it could face fines of $250 a day, up to a total of $10,000. Those that intentionally violate the law also could be charged with a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to a year in jail.

The insurance requirement would apply to swimming pools that charge admission and have a capacity of up to 500 people with a water depth of more than 2 feet.