Mother sues San Antonio hotel after bottle strikes son
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A mother who says her 2-year-old son was seriously injured when a glass ketchup bottle fell on his head from a fifth floor balcony of a San Antonio hotel is suing the establishment for at least $1 million.
Cassandra DeLa Cruz’s lawsuit says her son, Jacob Francisco, suffered serious injuries to his neck, brain and other parts of his body on Aug. 18, 2018, when he was struck by the bottle as she pushed him past the Omni La Mansión Del Rio hotel in a stroller.
The Jan. 10 lawsuit names the hotel, its Dallas-based parent, Omni Hotels & Resorts, and its owner, TRT Holdings of Irving, as defendants. DeLa Cruz is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
Omni Hotels & Resorts didn’t respond to the San Antonio Express News ’ request for comment. DeLa Cruz’s attorney, Simon Fraser, declined to comment.
The lawsuit, filed in Texas District Court in San Antonio, says Jacob has received medical treatment since the bottle fell on him and that his “injuries may be permanent in nature.”
The complaint does not provide details about his injuries or the nature of the treatment he has undergone but notes Jacob “may continue to suffer into the future, physical pain and mental anguish.”
The San Antonio Police Department said the mother and a witness reported the incident to two hotel managers. A police officer interviewed two people in a hotel room who said they had been eating burgers on the balcony, and one of them said he may have accidentally knocked the 2.25-ounce Heinz ketchup bottle over the edge, according to the SAPD.
He said he tried to get to the lobby to investigate what happened but that the elevator stopped at the third floor.
The officer told DeLa Cruz that it “was an accident and would not be filed as a criminal offense,” the preliminary information shows.
Vincent R. Johnson, interim dean at St. Mary’s University School of Law, said the hotel has a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect passing pedestrians, but that it is difficult to prove a lack of such care.
“Sometimes things are just … an unfortunate accident,” Johnson said. “So it’s not necessarily the case that the hotel guest or the hotel acted unreasonably.”