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Wrongful death claim for 2010 death scheduled for April trial

Texas residents may recall the tragic death of a businessman in a hotel room in Beaumont in September of 2010. Although the man's death was initially determined to have been the result of natural causes, a thorough investigation that ended nine months later revealed that a gunshot wound left the man dead in his hotel room. The surviving spouse filed a wrongful death claim in 2012, and that case is now scheduled to go to trial in April of this year.

The hotel and the company that was responsible for security on the night of the incident, along with three guests were named as defendants in the case. The lawsuit states that the businessman was in a room adjacent to the one where three of the defendants were allegedly being extremely disruptive while partaking in some heavy drinking. Sometime during the evening, one of the three guests apparently fetched a firearm from a vehicle in the parking lot and dropped the loaded gun on the bed. A shot reportedly went off, traveling through the wall where it hit the businessman in the next room.

It was later determined that the three guests had plugged the gunshot hole in the wall with toilet paper and toothpaste, obscuring it from unsuspecting individuals. The widow of the deceased man accuses the management of the hotel of failing to deal with the disorderly guests, and the failure to report the incident to the police. The security company is accused of negligence in the manner in which it carried out its duties and failure to investigate the cause of the disruptive noise. The plaintiff asserts that, while knowing that the bullet went through the wall, the three hotel guests continued drinking without checking on the person in the room next door.

In addition to having to adjust to life without her husband and coping with unanticipated expenses, this widow had to bear the emotional stress of uncertainty for nine months before learning the cause of her husband's death. The financial repercussions of such an untimely death of a loved one can be devastating. Although no amount of money will ease the emotional loss, a monetary judgment in a successfully presented wrongful death claim in a Texas court may provide some relief.

Source: setexasrecord.com, "Upcoming trial: Suit against MCM Elegante Hotel for notorious death", David Yates, March 20, 2015

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