Houston Hotel Sued Over Electrocution Death
The mother and other relatives of a Harris County man who died from electrocution in the pool at the Houston Hilton Westchase filed suit, claiming Hilton Worldwide was responsible for the man’s death. Raul Hernandez Martinez died, and his girlfriend, Lorena Mendoza, and Martinez’s 10-year old brother were injured in the August 31 incident. Incident Report According to police reports, Hernandez, 27, Mendoza and her daughter were spending Labor Day weekend at the hotel, planning to meet other relatives to celebrate the holiday. The family was swimming in the pool around dusk when the lights in the pool came on and people began to complain of being shocked. The 10-year old cried out and began to convulse, and when Duran reached for him to pull him out, she, too, began to convulse. Hernandez swam to the deep end to help another child, who got out safely, but when he was pulled from the water, he was in cardiac arrest. He died in intensive care on September 6. Electrical Code Not Met According to court documents, the pool at the hotel had not met electrical codes for years, and an investigation found that there was no ground fault circuit interrupter on the pool lights to cut power quickly in case of an emergency. Brown Electric, who installed new wiring and equipment in the pool, is also named in the lawsuit, as they did not have the proper permits from the city to do the electrical work. The city issued a citation for use of an electrical system that constituted a hazard to safety, health and public welfare. In addition, faulty wiring may have resulted in live electricity being sent directly to the pool light housing. Hilton Worldwide Response In a statement issued by their public relations agency, Hilton Worldwide expressed sympathy to the family, stating that the safety of their guests was a top priority. The chain said they were cooperating fully with investigators and believed it was an isolated incident. When a company error is suspected as the cause or a contributing factor in an accident that causes injury or death, a wrongful death claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an accident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by company negligence.