Brian Tipmore and his family visited the indoor pool at the Plainfield Recreation and Aquatic Center in March 2008. He didn’t know that nearly five years later he would be settling a court case with the town.
Tipmore was in the indoor “kiddie” pool area on March 21, 2008, where the depth of the water was only several inches. He crossed a wall, not realizing the depth of the pool on the other side was about 4-feet deep, said his attorney James Ludlow.
Ludlow helped Tipmore build a case for negligence against the Town of Plainfield.
“Our allegation of negligence was that it was not apparent to patrons of the pool that there was a significant difference in depth between these two areas, thereby causing an unreasonable risk of injury if someone attempted to step across this dividing wall as Mr. Tipmore did,” Ludlow explained. “While of course accidents can happen, even with the best of care, what I found disturbing regarding this case was that there were two prior injuries that had occurred when someone attempted to step over the narrow wall ... and yet no corrective action had been taken by the aquatic center to investigate these incidents and take corrective action — until a lawsuit was filed in Mr. Tipmore’s case.”
Tipmore sustained a straddle-type injury that damaged the urethra and had to have surgeries to reconstruct the affected area.
“He will always have some residual problems,” Ludlow said. “He can still be active without pain but has to be very careful. He will never again be able to ride a bicycle or horse, considering this type of injury.”
He said he wanted the case to come to light because it’s a public safety issue.
“I hope this makes the pool safer,” he said. “I’ve been told that they have put up a rope barrier. We found out there were two people we know of injured prior to Mr. Tipmore but they never made a claim. Maybe if they had made claims, the aquatic center would have taken action. I wish they would have taken those injuries more seriously.”
Tipmore and his wife, Jeanette, brought a case against the Town of Plainfield on Oct. 15, 2009. It was settled earlier this year and the couple received $122,500 to help with medical bills.
The town’s insurance company, Houston Casualty Company, hired its own council. The attorney representing the insurance company is Matthew Hinkle. Attemps were made to contact Hinkle for comment on this article, but he did not return calls to the Hendricks County Flyer.