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Drowning Victims Mother Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Myrtle Beach Hotel

Premises Liability, Wrongful Death

Crown Reef Resort Myrtle Beach, Faces a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Drowning.

In a distressing incident at Crown Reef Resort, Myrtle Beach, a mother has taken legal action following the tragic drowning of her four-year-old daughter, Demi Williams. This heartbreaking event, occurring in a seemingly fun and safe environment, has cast a shadow over the resort’s safety protocols and raised serious questions about their responsibility towards their guests’ safety.

The lawsuit emerges in the wake of the dismissal of charges against Demi’s mother, Destiny Morgan, who was initially accused of unlawful neglect. The charges were later dropped, shifting focus back to the conditions at the hotel pool where the incident took place. Now, Morgan seeks justice through the courts, alleging negligence on the part of the hotel.

Case Overview

On April 1, 2021, a tragic event unfolded at the Crown Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where four-year-old Demi Williams drowned while visiting with her family from Kentucky. The family’s vacation turned into a nightmare when Demi, after asking to play in the lazy river, did not return and was later discovered drowned in an adjacent pool.

Destiny Morgan, Demi’s mother, faced immediate legal scrutiny as Myrtle Beach police charged her with unlawful neglect of a child. These charges, however, were dismissed on March 5, allowing the focus to shift towards the conditions at the hotel pool that contributed to Demi’s untimely death.

 Key Aspects Of The Case

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by Morgan against Crown Reef Resort centers on several allegations of negligence:

  • Lack of Supervision: The lawsuit criticizes the hotel for not having lifeguards or adequate staff monitoring the pool area.
  • Inadequate Safety Measures: There were no exterior cameras in place to monitor the pool area, a factor that might have contributed to the failure in promptly identifying the peril Demi was in.
  • Poor Lighting: The lawsuit also points to poor and inadequate lighting around the pool area, potentially affecting the visibility and safety of the pool where Demi drowned.

Legal Framework for Negligence: The core of the wrongful death lawsuit against Crown Reef Resort hinges on claims of negligence. To establish negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the resort had a duty to ensure the safety of its guests, breached this duty, and that this breach directly caused Demi Williams’ drowning.

Evidence of Recurrent Issues: The lawsuit draws attention to previous incidents at the same location, notably the 2018 drowning of another young guest. This pattern may suggest a systemic failure on the part of Crown Reef Resort to address known safety risks, strengthening the claim of negligence.

Impact of Dismissed Charges Against Demi’s Mother: The initial charges of unlawful neglect against Destiny Morgan were significant because they shifted initial scrutiny towards parental supervision. However, the dismissal of these charges redirects the focus to the conditions and management of the pool area by the resort.

Challenges in Pool Safety Enforcement: The case underscores the challenges involved in enforcing pool safety standards. The absence of lifeguards, inadequate lighting, and the lack of surveillance equipment are pointed out as critical areas where the resort failed to meet the expected safety protocols.

Legal Precedents and Safety Regulations: The lawsuit against Crown Reef Resort may set a precedent for how similar cases are handled in the future, especially in jurisdictions where pool safety laws may be less stringent. It also calls into question the enforcement of existing regulations designed to prevent such accidents.

Potential for Systemic Changes: Beyond seeking justice for Demi’s family, the case may influence broader changes in industry standards and practices, particularly concerning how hotels and resorts manage their recreational facilities to ensure guest safety.

Legal Challenges and Considerations

Establishing Negligence: One of the primary legal challenges in this case involves proving negligence on the part of Crown Reef Resort. The plaintiff must convincingly argue that the hotel failed to uphold a standard of care expected in such settings. Key to this will be demonstrating that the resort had known issues or previous incidents that should have led to better safety measures.

Legal Burden of Proof: In wrongful death cases, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. This means Destiny Morgan must provide sufficient evidence that the resort’s negligence directly resulted in her daughter’s death. This includes showing how the lack of lifeguards, inadequate lighting, and absence of surveillance contributed to the incident.

Comparative Fault: South Carolina operates under a modified comparative negligence rule, which could complicate the case if the defense argues that there was some level of parental negligence involved. Even though the charges against Morgan were dismissed, the resort might suggest that parental supervision could have prevented the tragedy.

Regulatory Compliance: The lawsuit may also examine whether Crown Reef Resort was in compliance with local and state regulations regarding pool safety. Non-compliance could strongly support the negligence claim but proving this requires detailed knowledge of applicable safety laws and standards.

Emotional and Psychological Impact: Assessing damages in wrongful death cases involves not just economic losses but also the emotional and psychological impact on the family. Quantifying these damages, particularly in cases involving young children, poses a significant challenge but is crucial for determining fair compensation.

Precedents and Impact on Safety Standards: How this case is resolved could set a precedent for future wrongful death claims related to hotel pool safety. A verdict in favor of the plaintiff may push other resorts and hotels to reevaluate and enhance their pool safety measures to avoid similar legal repercussions.

For families enduring the devastating loss of a loved one due to similar tragic incidents, the journey toward justice can be fraught with complexity and emotional challenges. The case of Demi Williams at Crown Reef Resort highlights the critical need for stringent safety measures and diligent oversight in recreational facilities, especially those frequented by children.

If you or someone you know has suffered from a similar tragedy, it is crucial to seek legal assistance early on in the wrongful death lawsuit timeline. Our law firm specializes in personal injury and wrongful death cases, providing expert guidance and compassionate representation to ensure that your rights are protected and justice is served.


What should I do if my child is involved in a pool accident at a hotel? If your child is involved in a pool accident, seek immediate medical attention, regardless of the apparent severity of injuries. Document the scene by taking photographs and gathering contact information from any witnesses. Report the incident to hotel management and contact a personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the necessary legal steps.

Who can be held liable for a drowning accident in a hotel pool? Liability can vary, but it typically includes the hotel or resort for failing to ensure the safety of their facilities. Other parties might include pool maintenance companies or manufacturers of faulty pool equipment if their negligence contributed to the accident.

Can I still pursue a wrongful death claim if there were no lifeguards present at the time of the accident? Yes, the absence of lifeguards can be a significant factor in establishing negligence in a wrongful death claim. It demonstrates a failure to adhere to safety protocols that could have prevented the tragedy.

What types of compensation can be pursued in a wrongful death lawsuit related to a hotel pool accident? Compensation can include medical costs incurred prior to death, funeral and burial expenses, loss of future income, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before they died. Each case is unique, so specific damages will be determined based on the circumstances.

How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a hotel pool accident? The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits varies by state. In South Carolina, for example, the limit is generally three years from the date of death. It is crucial to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed within these legal time frames.

What evidence is crucial in proving negligence in a hotel pool drowning case? Important evidence includes documentation of the scene, witness statements, any available video surveillance, records of previous incidents at the same location, and expert testimonies regarding pool safety standards and the condition of the pool area at the time of the accident.

How can a lawyer help if my child drowns in a hotel pool? A wrongful death lawyer can help by investigating the circumstances surrounding the drowning, identifying liable parties, gathering necessary evidence, and representing your interests in negotiations or court proceedings. They ensure that your legal rights are upheld while you focus on your family’s emotional recovery.


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Don’t navigate the aftermath of a wrongful death case alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a wrongful death due to negligence or premises liability don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.