Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

Family of man killed in elevator accident sues TradeWinds resort

ST. PETE BEACH — The family of a man crushed to death by an elevator at the TradeWinds Island Resort has filed a lawsuit against the well-known beach hotel.

Mark Allen Johnson, 45, of Tampa was a subcontractor hired to clean oil and water from the bottom of an elevator shaft at the resort's Jacaranda Beach Villas property at 5600 Gulf Blvd.

On April 24, after about 40 minutes of work, the elevator car, which had been parked on a higher floor, suddenly plunged on top of Johnson.

He died before rescuers could get to him.

Johnson's family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in Pinellas County late Tuesday afternoon.

"It's a terrible, sad, tragic story," said Tommy Roebig, the Johnson family attorney. "The sad part is it could have been prevented."

Days after the accident, fire authorities who tried to rescue Johnson said they noticed an important safety step had been missed.

No one ensured that the main power to the elevator was completely off, a process referred to as "lockout/tagout."

In November, federal investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said both the hotel and SWS Environmental, the company Johnson worked for, should be penalized for serious safety violations. OSHA investigators said the companies should have ensured safety procedures, including "lockout/tagout," are known and followed.

The family's lawsuit is against only the hotel.

Roebig said that's because his firm's investigation concluded Johnson and SWS weren't in charge of the elevator and that the TradeWinds was at fault.

TradeWinds officials could not be reached to comment.

The lawsuit claims the TradeWinds' elevator service company, Thyssenkrupp, told a hotel employee to contact it before the cleaning began so the elevator could be properly secured. That never happened, the suit said.

Roebig said Johnson was not married but left behind two sons, 16 and 18. The lawsuit is seeking damages in excess of $15,000.

"Mark was a hard-working father," he said. "One of the hopes that the family has ... is that something like this doesn't happen to someone else."

Kameel Stanley can be reached at [email protected], (727) 893-8643 or @cornandpotatoes on Twitter.

Comments
From eyeball worms to a ‘frat house’ fire department, the top quotes from last week’s Tampa Bay Times

From eyeball worms to a ‘frat house’ fire department, the top quotes from last week’s Tampa Bay Times

From parasitic worms to the Parkland school shooting to a fire department run like a "frat house," your top quotes from last week’s Tampa Bay Times.• "You see cases where there are cysts full of fertilized eggs all over the brain. Luckily we caught i...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has led to the closure of one small business.According to the Miami Herald, the owners of Sunrise Tactical Supply, the Coral Springs, Florida shop that auth...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fergie’s NBA All-Star Game national anthem confuses, amuses

Fergie’s NBA All-Star Game national anthem confuses, amuses

LOS ANGELES — Fergie tried something different with her national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game, and not everybody was cheering.The Black Eyed Peas singer's slow, bluesy rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" on Sunday night wasn't particular...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is set to announce that the city’s main library will be renamed after former President Barack Obama.The announcement that the facility will be renamed after the nation’s first African-American president has been t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
U.S. women’s hockey team back in gold medal game after 5-0 win over Finland

U.S. women’s hockey team back in gold medal game after 5-0 win over Finland

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The Americans played their way back into the only women’s hockey game that matters: a showdown with Canada for the Olympic gold medal. The Americans are back in the title game for a third straight Olympics after ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the 12-year-old sister of a murder victim who was reported missing on Sunday night. Deputies say Jalyssa Shannon left her Manatee County home around 9 p.m. Her mother, Michelle Mosley, repor...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Weekend Roundup: Three things that blew up on social media

Weekend Roundup: Three things that blew up on social media

From cultural pride to political criticism, the internet has been a firestorm this weekend. For those who stepped away from their phones or computer screens for a breath of fresh air, here are some of the stories that blew up over the past few days.•...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Goodbye, Jake Odorizzi and Corey Dickerson

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Goodbye, Jake Odorizzi and Corey Dickerson

The Rays continue their salary dump as they trade Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for a Single-A shortstop and designate All-Star Corey Dickerson for assignment, saving about $10 million in the process.In his latest podcast, Rick Stroud breaks down the mo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
'Black Panther' blows past expectations, sets box-office record

'Black Panther' blows past expectations, sets box-office record

NEW YORK — A wave of feverish anticipation, fawning critical acclaim and groundbreaking cultural meaning pushed "Black Panther" to a record-setting $192 million debut in U.S. and Canada theaters, firmly establishing the superhero sensation as a...
Updated: 3 hours ago
More than 20 unlicensed contractors arrested after Pinellas sting

More than 20 unlicensed contractors arrested after Pinellas sting

DUNEDIN –– More than 20 unlicensed contractors offered to perform home repairs the past few days, but they didn’t know Pinellas County deputies waited with handcuffs to arrest them. At 11 a.m., Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri will announce deta...
Updated: 3 hours ago