Tourist: Hawaii Hotel Employee's Beach Tip Left Me Paralyzed

Man's lawsuit ultimately does not go his way, however
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2022 2:50 AM CDT
Guest Sues Hawaii Hotel Over Beach Tip He Says Got Him Paralyzed
Stock photo of Makena Beach in Maui.   (Getty Images / EPasqualli)

(Newser) – A visitor to Hawaii sued the hotel he and his family stayed at on Maui because, he claimed, the beach recommendation they received at the hotel ultimately got him paralyzed. After years in the court system, the case was ultimately decided in the hotel's favor recently, KHON2 reports. The man says he asked during the family's 2012 trip what might be a "good beach" for them to visit, and a hotel employee suggested Big Beach at Makena State Park, several miles away. After playing in the waves with his family for about 10 minutes, the man started exiting the water, which is when things went wrong.

"A breaking wave struck him from behind, causing his head to strike the sandy bottom of the ocean," the lawsuit states. His neck injuries left him permanently paralyzed. However, there were warning signs and flags all over the beach, parking area, and walkway connecting the two indicating the "dangerous shorebreak" at the beach, and warning would-be swimmers that serious injuries could occur due to waves breaking in shallow water. Lifeguards were also airing the warnings on a public-address system. The man claimed not to remember hearing any such warnings or seeing any such signs. Even so, judges sided with the resort, ruling that it had no duty to provide warnings about the shorebreak since the beach was not affiliated with the hotel, and that the signs provided at the beach were sufficient. (Read more Hawaii stories.)

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