Monday, May 16, 2011

Man Dies After Hot Tub Sucked Him Into Drain

The family of a man who drowned in a hot tub at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort due to the power of the whirlpool's extreme suction force, has filed a lawsuit against the hotel for negligence, wrongful death and false imprisonment. According to Nicole Cleaveland her fiancè, 33-year-old John Van Hoy Jr. was in the hot tub when he dunked his body below the surface "and was 'sucked' onto the spa's suction outlet drain cover/grate and/or sump frame" on Dec. 28, 2010 in Nassau, Bahamas.
Cleaveland had been relaxing nearby when she noticed Hoy did not come up for air. She screamed for help and then jumped, fully clothed, into the hot tub to rescue him, but was unsuccessful. "Nicole Cleaveland then sought the help of a Royal Bahamian employee who ignored her pleas for help and walked away," according to the complaint. Since there was no emergency shut-off switch nearby, Cleaveland says there was nothing she could do. "Upon hearing her calls, several heroic guests jumped in the hot tub, but collectively could not pull John Van Hoy Jr. from the bottom suction outlet drain cover/rate and/or sump," Hoy's estate claims. "While the rescuers pulled on John Van Hoy Jr.'s limbs and body, one of the guests was able to brace his legs against a wall of the hot tub and back against John Van Hoy Jr, and from this leg-press position was able to roll John Van Hoy Jr. off the drain." In the meantime, no Sandals employees tried to help or to shut off the suction pump, according to the complaint. Since Sandals kept the pump house locked, employees were also barred from trying to turn the pump motor off. "Complicating matters, no Sandals employees were either trained or willing to provide CPR for the 45 minutes or more that transpired before an ambulance arrived," the family claims. Hoy was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital.
This sounds terrifying. The family filed the suit against Sandals Resorts International and Unique, as well the companies that manufactured the hot tub or its parts, including Hayward Industries.
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