Family of Man Fatally Sucked Into Whirlpool Sues Bahamian Resort
A Bahamian hot tub death trap is at the center of a bizarre and tragic lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade court. The family of 33-year-old John Van Hoy Jr. is suing the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort after they allege Van Hoy was sucked into the drain of the hotel's whirlpool and drowned while workers at the resort ignored his fiancee's pleas for help.
According to Courthouse News Service, Hoy was "in excellent shape, and could bench press over 300 pounds," but when he dunked his body underwater he got caught in the whirlpool's suction drain and could not free himself.
His fiancee Nicole Cleaveland jumped in to the pool and tried to free him, but she was unsuccessful.
"Nicole Cleaveland then sought the help of a Royal Bahamian employee who ignored her pleas for help and walked away," reads the suit.
Other guests tried to help Van Hoy, but no one could get him free. Because there was no emergency shut-off button nearby, no one could turn off the whirlpool.
One fellow guest was able to finally free Van Hoy from the drain, but at that point it may have been too late. It took an ambulance 45 minutes to arrive, and Sandals had no one on staff who was willing to perform CPR on Van Hoy.
He was pronounced dead when his body was finally taken to the hospital.
The complaint also alleges that after the death, the phone was removed from Cleaveland's room, and that she was interrogated by hotel staffers who tried to get her to admit that either she or Van Hoy was somehow responsible for the death.
Van Hoy's parents, son, Cleaveland and her son are now suing Sandals, its American-based marketing firm, and the companies that built or supplied parts for the whirlpool.