Jury Hears from Charla Aldous in Trial Over Anaheim Hotel Hot Tub Accident that Led to 6-Year-Old’s Brain Damage

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Attorney Charla Aldous and co-counsel recounted the harrowing story of a hot tub accident at an Anaheim hotel that left a 6-year-old girl with brain damage as trial against the hotel began this week.

As reported by MyNewsLA, Aldous and fellow attorneys for the family argued that the 6-year-old victim sustained irreparable brain damage due to an unsafe hot tub at the Howard Johnson hotel.

The hotel, they alleged, had removed a pool to make way for its Castaway Cove water park in 2008, but left the hot tub in order for the addition of the water park, which wasn’t permitted or approved and had more than 50 code violations, to be considered a renovation rather than an entirely new project.

Aldous and co-counsel also told jurors about other alleged failures, including:

  • How changes in 2008, including the addition of a nearby water slide without a barricade around the hot tub and increasing the temperature of the hot tub water, made it more dangerous to children.
  • That the one pool attendant on duty that day was not watching the hot tub; and
  • That the hotel failed to have a rescue plan in place.

As noted in the lawsuit, the accident occurred in 2015 when the young girl and her family were at the hotel’s water park. After seeing that there were no jets in the hot tub, the mother allowed her daughter to go into the tub, which was between 106 to 109 degrees, according to an expert witness. The Defense has denied those claims, saying the girl’s death was the result of complications from hand, foot, and mouth disease.

As Charla Aldous told jurors, the girl was diagnosed with hypoxia and hypothermia when she was rushed to a hospital:

“Hypothermia was enough to cause brain damage,” Aldous said, telling jurors the child’s body temperature was 104.7 when she arrived at a hospital. “Heat to that extent can cause hypothermia in the body that can affect the brain.”

The trial is currently underway. Read the full article featuring quotes from Charla Aldous here.