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Georgia man's family suing hotel for swimming pool accident

The family of a Georgia man who suffered permanent brain damage from a near-drowning accident is suing the hotel where the accident occurred. The family is claiming property owner negligence in the civil case against the owners of a Ramada Inn.

On July 4, 2009, the 40-year-old man tried to save his 11-year-old daughter, who had drifted into the deep end of the hotel's pool. The father couldn't swim and had sunk to the bottom of the pool by the time help arrived to pull the girl out. Another hotel customer who dove in to rescue the man was too late to prevent him from suffering permanent disability.

The man is now in a semi-conscious state in a nursing facility. His family is suing the hotel for compensation of his projected medical expenses over his lifetime, which they expect to amount to $7 million to $12 million, depending on where he is cared for.

The family's attorney states that a dangerous property condition existed, saying that the pool had no safeguards in place such as water depth markers or a line separating the deep and shallow ends. The lawyer for the hotel argues that adequate markers did exist on the pool, and a life line isn't required by law. Also not mandatory is a lifeguard, although the hotel's required "certified pool operator" was an assistant manager who also could not swim.

The hotel is asserting its position that it bears no responsibility for the accident. However, the family's attorney says that their case is supported by the apparent fact that none of the hotel staff were prepared to deal with a drowning emergency.

Source: The Record, " Lawyers debate Rochelle Park hotel's liability in swimming pool case," Michael Copley, Dec. 10, 2012

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