Court Awards American Family Millions After Deadly Accident In Canadian Hotel
Earlier this year, an American family filed a lawsuit with a hotel in the Canadian city of Montreal, to address a case of wrongful death that occurred while the family was visiting three years ago. Now the family is seeking compensation from a branch of the Marriot Hotel chain for the death of both a father and toddler son.
A Case Of Drowning
In 2016, at the Residence Inn, a Marriot hotel located in downtown Montreal, William Tchouamou Ganjui was with his two-year-old son, Menelik at the hotel pool area. Ganjui, 37, and father to one son and two older daughters, was a computer programmer and the sole breadwinner for the family.
While he was with the toddler, the two of them fell into the deep end of the pool. There were no lifeguards, surveillance cameras, or alarms in place, although a life preserver was available. Ganjui was with all three children but was holding the toddler in his arms when he slipped into the deep end of the pool.
The two girls responded by throwing a life preserver to the father and son. The Ganjui managed to hook the toddler to the life preserver, but he sank to the bottom of the pool. The son floundered and eventually fell as well. They were eventually retrieved from the pool and sent to a hospital. However, the damage had already been done. Ganjui died that night in the hospital, and the toddler, Menelik, a few days later from drowning-related complications.
Since that incident, the Residence Inn in Montreal has now hired a lifeguard, as well as installed surveillance systems at the pool, none of which were available at the time of the drowning. The surviving widow is now suing the hotel chain for $3.9 million in compensation for the loss of both father and son.
In this case, the lawsuit is understandable. The death of loved ones on someone else’s property, especially a business that specializes in taking care of guests, would fall under premises liability. In general terms, any owner of a property, whether a private residence or a business that admits clients and customers, has a legal responsibility to take reasonable care to ensure visitors are safe. This means that motor oil spilled in a garage, for example, should be quickly cleaned up. If it’s not, and a garage owner shows a lack of concern about whether a customer can slip, fall and be injured by that oil, that’s a dangerous risk. Should a customer actually slip and become injured, even though the owner was aware of the risk, but chose to ignore it, that’s premises liability.
In this case, the fact that numerous safety measures were instituted by the Residence Inn only after a father and son drowned and died could be an indicator of negligence. If the hotel did not feel their current safety measures were inadequate, why would they now upgrade them?
This is why anyone that gets injured on someone’s else’s property, or worse yet, loses someone on another’s property, should talk to an experienced attorney about wrongful death, or premises liability, more commonly known as “slip and fall” injuries,