13 News Now reported an incident occurred at a resort near Williamsburg on Saturday, July 15, 2023, as an 8-year-old child tragically drowned. According to officials from the James City County Police Department (JCCPD), the incident occurred before 10 p.m. while the child was swimming with their family at the Greensprings Vacation Resort located at 3500 Ludwell Pkwy, Williamsburg, VA 23188.
Witnesses recalled the heart-wrenching moments that followed the drowning. One guest at the Greensprings Vacation Resort from Northern Virginia expressed his anguish over what he witnessed. He had recently stayed at the resort for a much-needed break with his family, and shared his concerns about the absence of lifeguards during his stay. "It's been heartbreaking and burning at me," he disclosed during an interview. He further lamented the lack of a proactive and organized response from the hotel staff, emphasizing the need for certified lifeguards and individuals trained in CPR to ensure the safety of the resort's guests. Despite signs displayed around the pool area stating "no lifeguard on duty," he believes the addition of lifeguards is a crucial preventive measure. He asserted, "Just because the law doesn't require it doesn't mean they shouldn't be doing it. There are a lot of families, especially during this peak season that's there. If you could do anything to prevent, why don't you do it?"
Medical professionals promptly arrived at the scene after nearby individuals jumped into action in an attempt to save the child's life. The 8-year-old was swiftly transported to Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, but tragically, hospital staff declared the child deceased later that evening, as confirmed by officials.
The James City County Police Department has initiated an investigation into the drowning incident, aiming to uncover further details surrounding the tragedy.
Greensprings Vacation Resort is under the management of Hilton Grand Vacations. In response to media inquiries, a corporate spokesperson conveyed their deep sadness over the incident and extended their heartfelt condolences to the grieving family. The spokesperson emphasized that the safety and well-being of guests are of utmost importance, assuring the public that the resort's team is diligently working to ensure adherence to rigorous safety and security standards.
As the investigation continues, questions regarding the absence of lifeguards and preparedness measures at the Greensprings Vacation Resort loom large. The untimely loss of a young life serves as a somber reminder of the importance of maintaining comprehensive safety protocols, particularly in environments frequented by families and children.
In the aftermath of a tragic resort pool drowning, families left devastated by such incidents often seek justice through civil lawsuits against negligent pool owners. To shed light on this topic, we sat down with Kevin Biniazan, Esq., a respected wrongful death lawyer based in Virginia. In this interview, Attorney Biniazan discusses the legal avenues available to families affected by resort pool drownings and provides valuable insights on pursuing justice, navigating legal challenges, and holding responsible parties accountable.
Darla Medina (DM): We're discussing the recent tragic drowning incident and the broader issue of resort pool safety. Mr. Biniazan, could you shed some light on how families of victims in such cases can seek justice through civil lawsuits?
Kevin Biniazan (KB): Certainly, Darla. In resort pool drowning cases, it's important to establish negligence on the part of the pool owners or management. This can include factors such as inadequate supervision, lack of lifeguards, failure to maintain safety protocols, or even a failure to warn guests about potential risks. These lapses in safety measures can lead to devastating consequences.
DM: How can families affected by these incidents pursue justice through the legal system?
KB: Families of victims may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent resort owners. This legal action seeks to hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence and secure compensation for the family's loss. While no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, it can help provide financial support and send a message that safety must be a priority for all pool owners and operators.
DM: What challenges might families face in pursuing such lawsuits?
KB: Families pursuing these cases may face various challenges, including gathering evidence to prove negligence, navigating complex legal procedures, and addressing potential arguments from the defense. That's why it's crucial to work with experienced attorneys who specialize in wrongful death and personal injury cases involving pool accidents. They can guide families through the legal process, advocate for their rights, and help maximize the chances of obtaining a fair settlement or verdict.
DM: Are there any time limitations or statutes of limitations that families should be aware of when considering legal action?
KB: Absolutely, Darla. Families need to be aware of the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in their respective jurisdictions. These time limits can vary from state to state, so it's essential to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to understand the specific deadlines that apply to their case. Acting promptly allows families to preserve evidence and ensure their legal rights are protected.
DM: Thank you, Mr. Biniazan, for sharing your insights on this important topic. Any final thoughts you would like to share?
KB: It's my pleasure, Darla. I would just like to emphasize that resort owners and pool operators have a duty to prioritize the safety of their guests, particularly when it involves vulnerable individuals like children. Holding negligent parties accountable through civil lawsuits not only helps families seek justice but also encourages better safety practices in the future.