Miami-Dade Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages Over Fatal Jacuzzi Drowning at Bahamian Resort

The family of John Van Hoy Jr. has filed a Miami-Dade wrongful death complaint against Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort. Van Hoy died after getting caught in a Jacuzzi suction drain at the Bahamian resort on December 28, 2010. Other plaintiffs include Sandal Resort International, Unique, Hayward Industries, and other companies involved with the manufacture of the hot tub and its parts.

Several resort guests, including Van Hoy’s fiancé Nicole Cleaveland, reportedly tried to help free him, but by the time they were able to pull the 33-year-old away from the drain it may have been too late. The whirlpool reportedly lacked an emergency shut-off button.

In their Miami-Dade drowning accident complaint, the plaintiffs accuse hotel staff of ignoring Van Hoy and either being unwilling or lacking the training to perform CPR during the 45 minutes it took for the ambulance to arrive. The workers at the resort then allegedly tried to prevent Cleaveland from communicating with family, friends, or others and subjected her to an “interrogation” while suggesting that she or Van Hoy were “somehow at fault for the death.”

Van Hoy’s family and Cleaveland are seeking damages for products liability, negligence, false imprisonment, and infliction of emotional distress.

Dangerous Hot Tub Drains
Unless a pool or hot tub is fitted with a drain that cannot suction a swimmer’s body part or clothing, serious injury or death can result. The suction from a drain can be so powerful that it can be hard for even an adult to get free. In the US alone, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 74 pool drain entrapments between 1999 and 2007, resulting in 63 injuries and 9 fatalities.

In the US, pool and spa drain covers must meet new safety standards. There are, however, still pools that use the older, less safe types of drains. Pool and spa drain entrapment accidents can cause drowning deaths, permanent brain damage, and disembowelment.

Family of Man Fatally Sucked Into Whirlpool Sues Bahamian Resort, MiamiNewTimes, May 16, 2011
Hotel Sued Over Whirlpool Death Trap, Courthouse News Service, May 16, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Pool Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission

More Blog Posts:

Family Sues Delray Beach for Palm Beach County Wrongful Death of Surfer Who Drowned, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, April 8, 2011
Dangerous Pool Drains in Florida Pose a Personal Injury Hazard, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, September 24, 2008

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