The Andres Lopez Law Firm

Resort sued for tainted alcohol drowning

A Florida court will decide a wrongful death lawsuit for a fatality at a Mexican resort. The family of a 20-year-old student filed the personal injury action against the resort where she drowned in Jan. 2017 after it allegedly served her tainted alcohol.

According to the lawsuit, the victim's step-father booked the resort for an all-inclusive 7-day stay at the resort for her family. Before the victim and her brother went swimming, staff served them drinks at a pool-side bar.

A guest told a hotel employee that two people were drowning in the pool's shallow end. The victim was floating face down unconscious while her brother was kicking and splashing.

Before admission into the intensive care unit of a local hospital, her parents had to pay $16,000 for hospital bills and a deposit for their children's transport to a hospital in Cancun. No one offered to help pay the bills according to their lawsuit.

She was then transported to the Broward Medical Center in Fort Broward which was the closest U.S. facility wiling to accept her. A physician informed them that she could not survive without a ventilator. She died two days later.

The resort denied access to the family's investigator. Months later, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs for Mexico issued a travel warning to American concerning tainted or alcohol in Mexico.

Her parents and step-parents filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Florida where the victim died seeking damages under Florida's Wrongful Death Act and Wisconsin's Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The resort and the Florida website operator for the booking agent were named defendants.

The plaintiffs charged that the defendants knew for several years that the alcohol at the resort was poisonous, tainted and unfit for human consumption and did not meet minimum food and beverage safety standards. A media report was cited about Mexican authorities finding dangerous levels of methanol in some alcohol. They also claimed that the defendants did not protect the victim by ignoring foreseeable problems with alcohol and training staff to respond to this problem and that the website did not provide adequate warnings.

An attorney can help families who suffer the loss of a loved one seek damages. Assistance from experienced lawyers can assure that their right to compensation may be pursued in court or in negotiations.

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