A 55-year-old woman trying to enjoy her Myrtle Beach vacation instead ending up breaking her ankle as she eased into a lazy river pool, leading to surgery, medical bills, and eventually a $750K settlement.
In April 2014, plaintiff Patricia Holland was at the Dunes Village Resort when she slipped on the pool’s down-sloping steps and suffered a trimalleolar fracture. The pool was originally built around 2006 by Hucks Pool Company, which only months before the accident had contracted with the Pan American defendants to replaster the pool. Hucks subcontracted with defendant Active Shotcrete & Plaster to assist with the work.
According to Holland’s attorney, Christopher McCool of the Joye Law Firm in North Charleston, Hucks blamed the steps’ downward slope on Active Shotcrete’s replastering work. Active Shotcrete contended it was the result of Huck’s original construction. All defendants cited a misstep by Holland as the cause of her spill.
McCool said that a significant factor in establishing liability was the fact that the treads exceeded the half-inch slope allowed by the Department of Health and Environmental Control for pool steps.
To make matters worse, McCool added, the pool’s pumps were on at the time of the accident, causing a rippling effect “which diminished the visual clarity of the steps for persons descending the steps.”
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SETTLEMENT REPORT – PREMISES LIABILITY
Injuries alleged: Broken ankle requiring surgery
Case name: Patricia Holland v. Pan American Vacations Management, LLC, Pan American Property Owners’ Association, Inc. all d/b/a Dunes Village Resort, Hucks Pool Company, Inc., Active Shotcrete & Plaster, LLP
Court: U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
Case No.: 4:15-cv-00141-RBH
Judge: R. Bryan Harwell
Date of settlement: Dec. 29
Attorneys for plaintiff: Christopher McCool of the Joye Law Firm in North Charleston
Attorney for defendants: Val Stieglitz of Nexsen Pruet in Columbia; Christy Mahon of Sweeny, Wingate & Barrow in Columbia; Brian Robinson of Bruner, Powell Wall & Mullins in Columbia; Bonum Wilson III of Wilson & Heyward in Charleston; and Elbert Dorn of Nexsen Pruet in Myrtle Beach