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Lifeguard and hotel sued for negligence in drowning death

Cell phones have become something of a universal villain in traffic accidents and similar incidents where the omniscient devices are blamed for distracting a person who should have been paying attention. Now, a lifeguard's use of a cell phone is blamed for a wrongful death at a DoubleTree Hotel.

The lawsuit has been filed by the father of an eight-year-old boy who died during a birthday party at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lancaster. According to the complaint, the boy was attending a birthday party for a friend. The guests were using the hotel's indoor pool and water playground when the incident occurred. The complaint alleges that the decedent and another boy climbed the ladder to the top of the water tube slide. The lifeguard said that they could only go down one at a time.

The first boy went down the slide without mishap. The complaint states that before the decedent reached the top and entered the tube, the lifeguard stepped away from her lifeguard post and was using her cell phone. The decedent then entered the tube and slid to the bottom. According to the complaint, the second boy bobbed on the surface in the deep end for approximately 90 seconds before he sank to the bottom of the pool. The complaint then alleges that the boy remained on the bottom of the pool for six minutes before the lifeguard saw him. Despite resuscitation attempts by emergency responders, the boy was pronounced dead at the Lancaster General Hospital. The complaint names the lifeguard, the owner of the hotel and the franchisee as defendants.

Anyone who has suffered a similar loss should consult the firm of Leisawitz Heller in Reading. One of the firm's attorneys can provide a helpful analysis of the law and facts that will decide the case and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress and medical and funeral expenses.

Source: Penn Record, "Lifeguard, Hilton sued after boy drowns at birthday party," Nicholas Malfitano, March 8, 2017

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