MIAMI, FL, November 28, 2018 – The estate of Abbey Conner, the young college student who drowned while on a family vacation last year at Iberostar’s Paraiso del Mar Hotel in Cancun, Mexico, today filed a wrongful death case against Iberostar, claiming that her death resulted from the hotel serving both Abbey and her brother tainted alcohol.
On January 7, 2017, Abbey, her brother Austin, their mom, and stepfather arrived at Hotel Iberostar Paraiso del Mar for a long-awaited vacation. After unpacking, Abbey and Austin changed into their swimsuits and headed for the hotel’s pool to go swimming. While there they made use of the swim-up bar. Thereafter, an Iberostar employee was alerted by a hotel guest that two people were drowning in the pool. Once he reached the pool area, he saw a young woman, Abbey, floating face down, and a young man, Austin, kicking and splashing in the shallow area of the pool. Although Austin recovered from the incident, Abbey died on January 12, 2017.
In the months following Abbey’s tragic death, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that over 100 other travelers described having “blacked out from small or moderate amounts of alcohol and were robbed, raped, or otherwise injured while visiting all-inclusive resorts in Mexico.” Although Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism has disputed the reports of tainted alcohol at Mexican resorts, such as Iberostar’s Paraiso del Mar Hotel, Mexican authorities in Cancun and neighboring Playa del Carmen subsequently cracked down on bars and alcohol vendors and in the process reportedly confiscated thousands of gallons of tainted alcohol.
The family’s lead counsel, Miami attorney Gary Davidson of Diaz Reus, explained that “this suit is about a family vacation that ended on its first day in a tragedy. The very idea that two young adults go to Iberostar’s swimming pool while on a family vacation and one ends up dead after drinking alcohol at a swim-up bar and the other one completely loses self-control after drinking at this same bar—and at the same time–is frightening”.