Family vacations are an opportunity to pause the work schedule and enjoy quality time with loved ones.
However, not all vacations are pleasurable experiences. Imagine working all year round to go on a holiday only to return home with permanent paralysis? That nightmare is the reality for a man and his family.
This family visited a Maui resort for their holiday, and they inquired one of the resort staff members for a good beach recommendation. The employee suggested Big Beach as a place worth checking out and the family followed the advice. They drove to Makena State Park and parked near a lifeguard tower beside Big Beach.
The man’s family was in the water first and he joined them shortly afterward. He was swimming for about ten minutes before heading back to the shore. A wave struck his neck from behind and his head crashed into the sand at the bottom of the ocean. His neck hyperextended causing permanent paralysis.
The man did file a lawsuit at the Hawaii court against the Maui resort. In the court documents, he claimed to have “suffered a paralyzing injury because the hotel employee negligently recommended that beach without providing any warnings of ocean hazards.”
Although the employee did not warn the visitor regarding potential hazards, there were warning signs across the beach. There was a warning pictogram that read: “Waves break in shallow water[.] Serious injuries could occur, even in small surf[.] If in doubt, don’t go out.”
The court declared that the hotel “had no general duty to warn its guests of dangers well beyond” the hotel’s properties and rejected the visitor’s argument that the hotel assumed a duty to warn by recommending the beach since the employee “made no representations or guarantees concerning safety.”
The employee and resort aren’t on the hook for this situation. It is a painful lesson for the family, but this man will be extra cautious before considering the future recommendation.