Suit: Dad Heard Ghastly Crack as Boy Died in Rotating Eatery

Rebecca and Michael Holt accuse Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel of negligence
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 18, 2017 9:15 AM CST
Suit: Police's Story on How Boy Died in Rotating Eatery Untrue
This May 6, 2009 file photo shows the dining area at the Sun Dial restaurant atop the Westin Hotel in Atlanta.   (Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

The family of a 5-year-old boy whose skull was crushed in the rotating wall of a hotel restaurant has sued the Atlanta hotel, accusing it of negligence in his death. Attorney Joseph Fried filed suit Wednesday for Rebecca and Michael Holt of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose son Charlie died April 14. "What started out as the best family trip, turned into the worst nightmare," Rebecca said in a statement emailed by Fried. Police had said the boy wandered away from his family's window table at the Sun Dial restaurant atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel and got his head stuck between tables. They also said the rotating floor shut off automatically when he was struck. The lawsuit disagrees with police statements, reports the AP.

It said the family left along a path that various members had used without problems to go to and from the bathroom. But this time, it said, a booth rotating near a stationary wall blocked their path. Charlie, a few steps ahead of his parents, "was too short to see past the booth and did not appreciate the danger until it was too late," and was trapped in the "pinch point" between booth and wall, according to the lawsuit. "To Michael's and Rebecca's horror, the rotation did not automatically stop when Charlie got trapped," the suit states, and there was no emergency button to stop it. Rebecca tried to pull her son free and Michael "threw his body against the booth," but both actions were futile, it said. It said Michael heard his son's skull crack before someone finally stopped the rotation.

(More child death stories.)

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