Documents filed in the District Court of Guam show Hun Sang Lee from South Korea is suing Manhattan Guam Inc. and the Royal Orchid Hotel. According to the documents Hun stayed in the hotel on Nov. 17 2002 and entered the hotel’s pool to swim at about 2:30 p.m. that same day.

Sang Lee is represented by several law firms including Cronin Fried Sekiya Kekina & Fairbanks based in Hawaii and Berman O’Connor Mann & Shklov and the law office of Jason S. Kim both of Guam.

The complaint reads “Thereafter plaintiff made a shallow dive into the swimming pool and struck his head on concrete steps which abutted into the swimming pool and which could not be seen from the surface at the time. Plaintiff was thereafter transported to Guam Memorial Hospital where he was diagnosed as a paraplegic which paraplegia is directly attributable to injuries which occurred in the defendant Royal Orchid Hotel’s swimming pool.”

Documents filed by the plaintiff also said “Defendant Royal Orchid Hotel built dangerous concrete steps protruding into the swimming pool instead of recessed steps and thereafter operated in the swimming pool with this dangerous condition present all in violation of Guam’s Rules and Regulations relating to public swimming pools”.

According to Hun’s complaint the hotel allegedly “failed to paint the protruding steps a contrasting color or otherwise warn patrons of their existence.” The complaint also states that the hotel failed to post signs in Korean warning guests that there were no lifeguards on duty.

Court papers state “As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of Defendant Royal Orchid Hotel plaintiff was rendered a paraplegic and has lost movement in his legs and control of his bowel and bladder functions which condition is permanent.” The documents further said “The plaintiff has and will incur substantial medical and hospital expenses throughout his life expectancy. He has lost employment income and will never be employable in an occupation which requires mobility with consequent loss of future income. He has and will incur substantial pain and suffering and has been and will be unable to engage in any activities requiring mobility. This has resulted in severe emotional distress to plaintiff and loss of enjoyment of life.”

According to the documents compensation sought exceeds $75 000.

In response Manhattan Guam Inc. and Royal Orchid said “Any injuries or damages plaintiff sustained were caused primarily by his own negligence and his claims are therefore barred.” The response also states “Any injuries or damages plaintiff sustained were partially caused by his negligence and his damages if any must be reduced by the percentage of causal negligence attributable to him.” The document also said “Plaintiff’s claims are barred because of the doctrine of assumption of risk.”

G. Patrick Civille attorney and partner in the law firm of Civille & Tang LLC represents Manhattan Guam Inc. and Royal Orchid Hotel in the case. MBJ