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American woman loses negligence suit against Negril hotel

Published:Tuesday | March 31, 2015 | 3:01 AMBarbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

The Court of Appeal has ruled that Xtabi Resort Limited in Negril, Westmoreland cannot be blamed for the drowning death of an American in 1995.

Forty-nine-year-old Robert Flickenger was a guest at the resort at the time of his death.

He reportedly went into the sea to snorkel and drowned due to the roughness of the sea and the presence of big waves.

His widow, Elita Flickenger, had sued the resort and its manager David Preble seeking damages for negligence but the Supreme Court dismissed her claim.

In the negligence suit Flickenger blamed the respondents for failure to warn her husband about the danger of the storms that often develop around that area of the sea.

The respondents, which were represented by attorneys-at-law Christopher Samuda and Danielle Chai, had denied that storms often developed around the resort.

They said Flickenger should have known that the sea was rough and choppy and was expressly forewarned.

In a majority decision, the Appeals Court held that the deceased was reckless in how he sought to spend his holiday.

It further said the respondents had warned the deceased of the danger he faced.

The appellant, who was represented by attorneys-at-law Ainsworth Campbell and Rudolph Francis, was ordered to pay the resort's legal costs.