A New Jersey jury is deliberating on a suit filed when a man sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) trying to save his daughter from drowning in a hotel swimming pool, according to The Record of North Jersey.
The civil lawsuit was filed by the family of Robert Smith, 40, of Georgia against Ratan R. Park LLC, the owner of a Ramada Inn in Rochelle Park, N.J.
The case stems from an incident on the Fourth of July in 2009, when Smith almost drowned while trying to save his daughter, Brianna, 11, when she went into the deep end of the hotel pool, The Record reported. Neither Brown or his daughter know how to swim.
Hotel manager Yash Modi was there when Smith went under, but Modi couldn’t swim, either. The manager was able to get Brianna to safety, but a hotel guest had to go in the pool to save Smith, according to The Record. By that time, Smith was unresponsive and had sustained permanent brain damage, The Record reported.
During the trial in Bergen County Superior Court, the plaintiff’s lawyer argued that the hotel owner was liable for what happened, because the pool’s bottom sloped too much and there were no safety lines across the pool for hotel guests to grab.
But the hotel’s attorney said that Smith and his daughter must take responsibility for what happened, adding that the pool’s depth levels were marked and any safety line isn’t mandated by the law, according to The Record.
The lawsuit seeks damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages for Smith, who is now in a nursing home. His estimated expenses are $7 million if he receives care at home for the rest of his life, and $12 million if he stays in a nursing home, The Record reported.