US

20-Year-Old American Tourist Served ‘Tainted’ Alcohol Before Drowning in Pool: Family Attorney

By Samuel Allegri

Twenty-year-old American tourist Abbey Conner, who drowned after drinking alcohol at a Mexican resort, may have been served “tainted” alcohol, the family’s attorney says.

Attorney Gary Davidson said on June 13 that the alcohol Abbey and her brother drank was “tainted,” and their parents are filing a lawsuit against the Mexican resort, reported Fox News.

The Conner family believes the tragedy could have been avoided.

The case comes as the Dominican Republic is currently under international scrutiny over a series of U.S. tourists who died in many cases by becoming critically ill in their hotels.

“It was a very sad situation,” said Davidson, when asked about Conner’s death. “Abbey’s a 20-year-old who goes with her family down to the resort and what happens next is she’s served alcohol along with her older brother in a swimming pool that has a swim-up bar and the next thing we know is that there’s an emergency call placed to security as a result of another tourist finding Abbey in the swimming pool drowning and her brother fighting for his life, also injured, that’s what this case is all about.”

Parents Bill Conner and Virginia McGowan went on vacation to Mexico with their children Abbey and Austin, staying in the Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar at the popular city of Playa del Carmen.

Only hours after they arrived, following being served drinks, Abbey and Austin were drowning in the pool.

Abbey was spotted face-down in the pool, while Austin was in the shallow end.

“Abbey was ultimately flown from Mexico after being in two different hospitals there. She was flown from Mexico to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she was evaluated. Two days after flying, being flown into Florida, she passed away,” Davidson said.

“We have alleged that the hotel knew that tainted alcohol was being processed through the hotel, through the bar areas, and we believe that and we’ve asserted that in the lawsuit,” Davidson said. “The lawsuit has just begun. We look forward to taking depositions of various people who are on staff to establish those facts.”

Mexican news reported that numerous other tourists had also been taken critically ill at Mexican resorts.

Later, Mexican authorities raided 31 of these businesses and confiscated almost 100 gallons of alcohol, much of which contained methanol.

Abbey’s family filed a lawsuit against the resort, alleging that “tainted, substandard, poisonous,” and “unfit for human consumption” alcohol was being served in their facility.

“What we know is that there is—there was and perhaps still is going on, we don’t know—a pandemic of service of tainted alcohol throughout the Mexican resorts, specifically in the Riviera Maya area, although other areas may have been affected,” Davidson said. “Those raids, we think, were the tip of the iceberg and we strongly believe that this problem was known to Mexican authorities, was known to hotels and resorts.”

Davidson added: “At an all-inclusive resort of course alcohol, unlimited alcohol, is available to guests. What better way to save money, conserve resources, than to serve non-first quality alcohol?”