A final civil settlement has been reached in a hotel swimming pool electrocution death.
Raul Hernandez died August 9 after an incident at the Houston Hilton Westchase hotel six days earlier. His brother, 10-year-old David Dura,n had been swimming when he became shocked after a light in the pool turned on. Duran's mother attempted to resuce her son but also was shocked. Hernandez dove into the deep end to rescue them both but was unable to escape the electrical current himself. Bystanders pulled him from the pool and he was rushed to the hospital where he died six days later.
According to KHOU, settlements were eventually reached with both Hilton Hotels and the electrical contractor, Brown Electric Inc., without the case going to trial.
As the news agency reported:
The investigation showed that the Hilton Westchase did not meet city, state, and national electrical codes and that the pool did not have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) on the pool lighting system - which are standard safety features in pool construction, or kitchen and bathroom design, where electrical systems might come in contact with water.
Now, this settlement will provide additional millions in both college funds and life-time annuity support for David Duran and Valeria Sanchez, the daughter of Hernandez's girlfriend who also was shocked at the pool that day.
A recent pool electrocution death in Florida prompted efforts to enact legislation that would enforce stricter policies regarding pool lights in both residential and commercial applications. However companion bills, House Bill 795 and Senate Bill 926, also referred to as the Calder Sloan Pool Safety Act, died before ever seeing a committee hearing. The bill would have required inspections of commercial pools by county health departments every five years. In an effort to keep the issue alive, however, Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood), author of the Senate bill, added language to Florida’s annual “building code bill,” produced each year to update the building code, according to Aquatics International's sister publication Pool & Spa News. The amendment requires the formation of the Calder Sloan Swimming Pool Electrical Safety Task Force to explore which safety measures should be instituted. Read More