Thursday, May 24, 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
The Daystarter: Lightning’s season is over; latest on Bayshore street racing death; soggy Memorial Day could curtail concerts; Hooper pays tribute to Lee Roy Selmon’s

The Daystarter: Lightning’s season is over; latest on Bayshore street racing death; soggy Memorial Day could curtail concerts; Hooper pays tribute to Lee Roy Selmon’s

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• The rain is back, and it won’t let up through the Memorial Day weekend. Blame Invest 90L, the low-pressure system brewing in the Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center predicted...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

ST. PETERSBURG — The increased competition in the IndyCar Series was on display during qualifying for Sunday's Indianapolis 500.Two fan favorites (Pippa Mann and 2013 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner James Hinchcliffe) couldn't crack th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughter’s Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
St. Petersburg’s Jabil expands in Israel with new innovation center

St. Petersburg’s Jabil expands in Israel with new innovation center

St. Petersburg-based contract electronics company Jabil announced Wednesday it has expanded in Israel by opening an Optics Technology Innovation Center.The 6,560-square-foot complex is in Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city. "Our Optics Innovation Cen...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Get set for a rainy holiday weekend across Tampa Bay

Get set for a rainy holiday weekend across Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG -- After nine straight days of rain, the bay area received a much needed respite Wednesday — sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s. Peter O’Neill, 50, enjoyed seeing the sun again as he sat in Thunder Alley outside ...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

After a prominent Hillsborough County developer died last month in North Carolina, word spread it was a heart attack that claimed his life.But records from that state show the death of William "Bill" Bishop was much more complicated.His 16-year-old s...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

TAMPA — The two cars raced each other along Bayshore Boulevard just before noon, witnesses told police. One was a black 2018 Mustang. The other a gold Nissan. They sped side-by-side, trading the lead, police said, despite the traffic and pedest...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

TAMPA — Nick Genovese was anxious.The 21-year-old from Land O’Lakes had come to Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena hoping to see the Tampa Bay Lightning triumph over the Washington Capitals in Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference winner-take-all Game...
Updated: 6 hours ago