Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Playa del Carmen hotel to be named in wrongful death suit

The family of a woman who drowned under suspicious circumstances was to file a civil lawsuit today for wrongful death against a Playa del Carmen hotel and a website operator.

Abbey Connor’s family of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, alleges that the Iberostar Hotel failed to take adequate safety measures such as preventing tainted alcohol from entering the premises, ensuring staff was properly trained and providing adequate surveillance cameras and lifeguards around the pool.

The story of Conner and her brother Austin, who nearly drowned at the time, was broken last year by the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Journal Sentinel, whose 18-month investigation led to stories of dozens of other similar incidents in Mexican resorts in recent years.

It found that travelers had blacked out after drinking small and moderate amounts of alcohol. Couples and friends reported blacking out simultaneously and regaining consciousness hours later to find they had been assaulted, robbed, taken to hospital and, in some cases, to jail.

It is not clear whether they were deliberately drugged or were random victims of adulterated alcohol.

Conner, 20 was on vacation with her brother and their parents in January 2017 when she drowned in a shallow area of the swimming pool. She and her brother had been drinking tequila at the pool’s swim-up bar.

The civil suit claims that Iberostar and website operator Visit Us Inc. knew that alcoholic beverages being served at the Hotel Iberostar Paraiso del Mar were tainted, substandard, poisonous, unfit for human consumption and/or otherwise failed to meet bare minimum standards for food and beverage safety” and failed in their “duty to protect Abbey against risks of physical harm.”

Conner’s father, Bill Conner, said the family was looking for justice.

“I think it’s about time that somebody is held responsible about something that has been going on for decades in Mexico. We’re looking for justice for my daughter and for others behind us that have never been vindicated.”

Source: Journal Sentinel (en)

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