An Atlanta hotel is being sued by the family of a 5-year-old boy who died at its Sun Dial restaurant. The boy’s skull was crushed in the rotating wall of the establishment, which the family claims was due to negligence.
Rebecca and Michael Holt, of Charlotte, North Carolina, lost their son, Charlie, on April 14. They chose the Sun Dial because they heard it was a fun place for “families with kids to see the Atlanta skyline and enjoy a meal,” Michael said.
“What started out as the best family trip, turned into the worst nightmare,” Rebecca Holt said in a statement emailed by Attorney Joseph Fried, who filed the lawsuit on Wednesday.
According to police, Charlie had wandered away from his family’s window table, then got his head stuck between tables. The rotating floor shut off automatically when he became stuck, police said.
However, the lawsuit says the family was together, walking where other patrons had walked, when a rotating booth blocked their path. Charlie was a few steps ahead of his parents, but he “was too short to see past the booth and did not appreciate the danger until it was too late,” the lawsuit says, and he ended up trapped in the “pinch point” between the booth and a stationary wall.
There was no emergency button to push, they say, and to the parent’s “horror,” when Charlie became trapped, “the rotation did not automatically stop.”
The New York Post reports:
Rebecca Holt tried to pull her son free and Michael Holt “threw his body against the booth,” but both actions were futile, [the lawsuit] said.
It said Michael Holt heard his son’s skull crack before someone finally stopped the rotation.
At the time, WSB-TV reported via Twitter (see below): “Child’s death at Sun Dial restaurant-We’ve learned family’s waiter jumped a staircase wall to shut off rotating floor switch.”
According to Fried, the lawsuit was filed to set the record straight about the incident, and in order to “make sure, to the best of their abilities, that no other family ever has to suffer the same fate.”
Defendants include the hotel’s owner, Marriott International; former owners and operators; and the restaurant’s architects, interior designer, and contractor from 2012 and 2013.
“After Charlie’s death, Marriott has said that it won’t allow the restaurant to revolve again until it has addressed the dangerous pinch points,” Fried’s statement said. “Marriott should not have waited for this tragedy before acting to correct this hazard, especially while it held itself out as a safe place for kids.”
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A 5-Year-Old Boy Was Crushed To Death By A Revolving Restaurant: The Sun Dial restaurant in Atlanta. Frank Kehren / Via Flickr: fkehren A… pic.twitter.com/zpqu91mAKc
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