Indian-American hotel owner in Michigan accused by victim’s family, others, for negligence

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An Indian-American hotel owner in Niles, Michigan, accused by parents of a 13-year old killed in the pool area from toxic fumes last year, admitted in a deposition that he had not checked the maintenance instructions.

According to a news report on abc57.com, April 1, marks one year since the fatal carbon monoxide poisoning at the Niles Quality Inn killed Bryan Douglas Watts and poisoned several others. The deposition given by hotel owner Jay Patel, was released to abc57 which revealed extracts from it. Those affected have filed a lawsuit against Patel, as well as the inspector, alleging negligence.

In the extracts given in the news report, the attorney for the victims Ven Johnson asks Patel during the deposition about the instruction manual – “Since you didn’t know they were there, at no time before April 1 of 2017 did you ever look at the instructions, because you didn’t know they were there. Agreed?” To this, Patel responds, “No, correct.”

According to the instructions, the pool pipes and other parts had to be inspected every six months, the news report said.

“Patel first faults the seller, called AJ in his deposition for not telling him he was leaving a manual in the equipment room, but he mainly blames the inspector he hired for $1400, Mark Modlin with Amerispec, for not alerting him to safety concerns,” abc57 reported.

Johnson also said that Modlin in his deposition, said he did nothing wong and was not supposed to investigate, and that it was the owner’s responsibility to do that.

A jury trial is expected to be set for late fall or early winter, Johnson told abc7.