The family of a young woman who died after possibly drinking contaminated alcohol is now suing the Mexican resort that served her.She drowned in a swimming pool at a hotel and Iberostar complex in Riviera Maya after drinking in January 2017 with her family. Her family claims that the resort knew that the alcohol that she had given the 20-year-old girl was "poisonous".
Conner's family said his death was an entirely preventable tragedy, at the hands of a hotel and Iberostar complex. Nearly two years later, they sued for the complex to be held responsible.
Abbey Conner was only at the Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar that for a few hours in January 2017, when his family said that the hotel staff had served him, as well as his older brother , Austin, alcoholic at the hotel pool.
Shortly after, his family said Abbey was found floating face down, while his brother was drowning in the shallow waters. Abbey died later in a hospital in Florida; his brother survived.
According to the new lawsuit for wrongful death brought in Florida and obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the resort knew "that the alcoholic beverages served" were "corrupt, unhealthy, poisonous, and unfit for human consumption".
A few months after Conner's death, his mother, Ginny McGowan, warned people of alcohol consumption in Mexico.
"It's a nightmare, it's horrible," McGowan said. "Pay close attention to what you eat and do not know what's needed in a drink or food."
After Conner's death, Mexican authorities raided 31 settlements. They seized about 90 liters of alcohol in unsanitary conditions. In February, according to the Journal, tests revealed that nearly 235 liters of different alcohol seized contained dangerous levels of methanol, a chemical commonly used in windshield washer fluid.
Kathy Daley had previously told CBS News that she thought she had been drinking tainted alcohol during a stay at a Iberostar hotel in Mexico.
"They said I could not get out of the pool and I was not even able to stand in the pool," Daley said. "They said I was throwing up all over the place and that they had to call the doctor in the hotel."
Daley does not seem to be alone. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, since Conner's death, he has received over 200 reports of US tourists having similar experiences in luxury hotels in Mexico.
"We thought we were safe at a 5-star resort but it's obvious you're not," McGowan said.
Iberostar Hotels and Resorts told CBS News in a statement that it was not commenting on ongoing or existing litigation. The State Department had previously advised travelers to consume alcohol in moderation in Mexico and to consult a doctor immediately if they feel unwell.
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