Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

Family members of a 13-year-old boy who drowned in a pool at the Quality Inn & Suites Montebello in 2013 are suing the hotel and its parent company.

Feng Qing Zhang and Yong Bing Zhang, who live in China, filed the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, also naming Choice Hotels International Inc. The suit alleges wrongful death, negligence and premises liability. The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages.

A spokeswoman for Choice Hotels did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

The suit states that the boy, Guo Zhu Zhang, and his classmates were visiting from China and were swimming in the pool of the hotel on Telegraph Road on Aug. 7, 2013.

“The (boy) informed one of his classmates that he was going to swim in the deep end,” the suit states.

One of the classmates became nervous when the boy went below the water and did not come up for 30 seconds, the suit states. The classmate ran into the lobby area to get help and a group of people came out to look the boy, according to the lawsuit. However, the sun had set and their vision was obscured by poor lighting around the pool, the suit states.

“The bystanders surrounding the pool were forced to use the flash from their cameras in an attempt to illuminate the pool,” according to the complaint.

The boy was under the water for eight minutes by the time a hotel guest him and pulled him out of the pool , the suit states. The boy was pronounced dead four days later, according to the lawsuit.

The suit alleges the hotel management was negligent for not having adequate lighting and for not having an adult or lifeguard supervising the children.

—City News Service

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