HOUSTON, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --The family members of a young man who died from electrical shock after heroically helping rescue his youngest brother from a hotel swimming pool two years ago have reached a financial settlement with the operators of the hotel.
Raul Hernandez, 27, died on Sept. 6, 2013, several days after diving in to help save his younger brother who was overcome by electrical shock when the pool lights came on at the Hilton Westchase hotel in Houston. Also at the pool were the victim's mother, his girlfriend and her young daughter.
The family members will be paid a settlement by the hotel's owner and operator in addition to the previous settlement paid by the company whose electricians were charged with criminally negligent homicide.
"Our lives were forever changed that day at the Hilton hotel. Our hope is that the lessons learned from this tragedy will mean that companies responsible for swimming pools will not cut corners and risk the lives of their guests," said family spokesman Carlos Hernandez Jr. "This was a senseless loss that easily could have been prevented."
The settlement was finalized April 27 in Harris County District Court and is being paid by the hotel operator, a division of Arlington, Virginia-based Interstate Hotels and Resorts Inc., a leading global hotel management company; and the owner of the Hilton Westchase hotel, a subsidiary of Boston-based venture capital firm Wheelock Street Capital. A court hearing was held to ensure the settlement was fair to the minors in the case, Raul's 11-year-old brother and the young daughter of his girlfriend Lorena Mendoza.
Besides the two children, other settlement recipients are Raul's mother, Maria Isabel Duran, who also suffered electrical shock and had to be revived; his brother Carlos Hernandez Jr., as the representative of Raul's estate; and Ms. Mendoza. The settlement's financial details are confidential, but family attorney Stephen Loftin of Hicks Thomas LLP said they were pleased with the result.
"We are very pleased with the settlement," said Mr. Loftin, "but money will not bring Raul back. The family hopes that the notoriety of this case will bring attention to pool electrical safety and help prevent this from happening to another family in the future."
Founded in 1997, Hicks Thomas, LLP, is a premier litigation firm representing plaintiffs and defendants across the nation. With offices in Houston and Sacramento, California, the firm provides in-depth experience in cases involving oil and gas, environmental, complex commercial, toxic tort, products liability, corporate governance, securities, banking, insurance coverage, transportation, trade secrets and business litigation. Visit the firm at http://www.hicks-thomas.com.
SOURCE Hicks Thomas, LLP