Two Alabama families have filed a lawsuit against Vision Hospitality and Hampton Inns Management LLC over the condition of the swimming pool at the Hampton Inn hotel in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The plaintiffs in the case are Charles and Ashley Keith and William and Amy Martin, parents of the children who were allegedly affected by the condition of the swimming pool.
The families said they checked into the hotel on March 26, 2021, and took their children to swim in the indoor area of the pool the following day. The suit says that on March 27, 4-year-old E.C. Keith exited the pool complaining of burning in her private region. Finding no obvious issue with the pool, Ashley Keith allowed her daughter to continue swimming.
On March 29, the parents took E.C. Keith, 2-year-old M.P. Keith, and 5-year-old W.C. Martin to the pool to swim at 8:30 in the morning. After nearly an hour, E.C. Keith got out of the pool complaining of a stomach ache and appeared disoriented, the suit states.
W.C. Martin also left the pool with complaints of stomach pain. M.P. Keith also got out of the pool.
M.P. began crying and was not walking correctly. Ashley Keith picked up M.P., whose eyes rolled back as she became unresponsive and unconscious. Mrs. Keith asked for someone to call 911 as she tried to revive M.P. She put M.P. on the floor and tried to call 911 from the pool phone, but it was not working.
Bystanders with medical backgrounds came to assist, and then E.C. became pale and disoriented. The two Keith children went with Mrs. Keith to the hospital, and M.P. remained unresponsive the whole time.
W.C. Martin, who was experiencing the same symptoms, was also transported to the hospital.
The physician at the hospital contacted the Hamilton County Health Department and Poison Control. The children were treated and released with a discharge diagnosis of chemical reaction/exposure, according to the suit.
According to the hospital notes, the hotel told the hospital that the chlorine levels were normal, but hospital notes stated, “The child does not smell like chlorine.”
The complaint stated all of the children suffered from syncope — temporary loss of consciousness caused by a fall in blood pressure — as well as pain in their legs and burning in their genital region.
The suit states that the health department inspected the pool on March 29, 2021, and found multiple violations, including the electrical systems, illumination, chemical storage, gas chlorination, lifesaving equipment, and the emergency phone.
It states, “There were also problems with water temperature, turbidity and disinfecting methods, as well as positive bacteriological test results and no approved sanitizing residual. The pool was found to have no chlorine, and the cyanuric acid stabilizer was found to be too high. There were also problems with cross connections, sewage disposal, and water supply, and the pool was ordered closed.”
Since the incident, the suit states that W.C. Martin continues to suffer from recurring rashes.
Meanwhile, M.P. Keith has had multiple episodes of syncope, as well as fevers, chills, sleep disturbances, muscle aches, fatigue, and weight loss. She has episodes of hypoglycemia and has developed chronic sinusitis resulting in multiple sinus surgeries and double ear infections “attributed to the bacteria in the hotel pool water.” She has suffered from mucosal thickening and silent seizures, it is stated.
The suit was filed in circuit court by Chattanooga attorneys Steven Dobson and Eric Burnette and Union Springs, Ala., attorney Elizabeth Littell Courson.
Hampton Inn hotel in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.