The family of five-year old Charlie Holt reached a joint settlement with Marriott earlier this week.
The family of a five-year old boy who died in an accident at Atlanta’s Sun Dial Restaurant in the Westin Peachtree Plaza in 2017 has reached a settlement with brand owner Marriott International.
WSB-TV 2 recounts how Holt, 5, died after getting caught between a wall and a table on the restaurant’s rotating floor. While staff were eventually able to free Charlie, he had already suffered catastrophic brain injuries and died at Grady Memorial Hospital.
Holt’s family had been visiting Atlanta from North Carolina at the time of the accident.
In their lawsuit, the Holt family claimed that the Sun Dial’s rotating floor contained a “longstanding safety hazard” which allowed the boy to become trapped between a table and the wall.
“The Sun Dial,” the lawsuit said, “had no protections to stop children from getting close to the pinch point or to stop the rotating of the floor if a child became trapped in the pinch point.”
Charlie’s family, notes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, had been seated near a window. After they had finished eating, they began walking toward the restaurant’s exit.
“The family was leaving the restaurant together after paying their bill,” family attorney Joe Fried told the Journal-Constitution in November 2017. “They were walking to the exit, following the same path that the hostess used to walk them to their table and that they used to walk to and from the restroom earlier. Charlie was only a few steps ahead.”
Their path was briefly blocked by a booth, located against an interior wall. When Charlie tried to move around the booth, he became stuck.
“By the time someone could manually stop the rotation, it was too late,” Fried said. “Charlie’s head had been pulled into the narrow pinch point, and he suffered catastrophic head trauma—right in front of his parents.”
Early media reports, says WSB-TV 2, had suggested that Charlie’s parents had allowed the boy to wander off unattended.
But on Wednesday, both Marriott and the Holt family issued joint statements affirming that Charlie had not wandered away from his family. Marriott and the Holts also said they had agreed to settle the matter to avoid further litigation. The terms of the settlement were not made public.
“When the accident occurred, Charlie’s parents, the Sun Dial employees and bystanders did everything that they could to try to save Charlie,” the joint statement said. “Unfortunately, Charlie suffered a serious brain injury and later died as a result of those injuries.
“The parties have agreed to resolve this matter and avoid further litigation. […] This statement has been approved by both the Holt Family and Marriott International, Inc.”