Texas woman sues Mexican resort after husband dies in hot tub electrocution

A Texas woman filed a lawsuit against a Mexican resort hotel days after she and her husband, who died in the incident, were electrocuted in a jacuzzi during their vacation in Puerto Peñasco, attorneys said.

Lizzette Zambrano filed the wrongful death lawsuit June 14, alleging negligence of the several companies that operate, manage and maintain the premises of the Sonoran Sea Resort, located in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, a beach town frequented by U.S. tourists on the Gulf of California near the Arizona border.

GoFundMe campaign for the of Jorge Guillen and Lizzette Zambrano family.
GoFundMe campaign for the of Jorge Guillen and Lizzette Zambrano family.

Zambrano and her husband, Jorge Guillen, both of El Paso, Texas, were on vacation when they were electrocuted in a jacuzzi Tuesday, June 11, at the resort. Guillen died at the scene, while Zambrano suffered critical injuries and was revived before being taken to a hospital. She remains in critical condition at a hospital in the U.S.

The lawsuit names Casago, LLC., Casago International, LLC., and High Desert Travel, LLC. as defendants. It was filed in El Paso district court. Court records do not list any attorneys for the three defendants.

Zambrano is seeking more than $1 million in damages for the fatal incident at the resort, the lawsuit states.

Hot tub electrocution Man dies in apparent hot tub electrocution at Mexico beach resort in Puerto Peñasco

Attorneys Tej Paranjpe and Michael Rodriguez of PMR Law and Charles Bush from Bush & Bush Law Group are representing Zambrano and the estate of her husband.

"There is no reason this should have happened," Paranjpe, a Houston trial attorney, said in a statement. "Hotels and resorts have a duty to ensure guest safety. At no point did resort staff think to engage an emergency shut-off, not to mention warn guests of a faulty, dangerous amenity."

A GoFundMe page was created by the couple's friends to help with medical and funeral expenses. The page has raised nearly $47,000 in donations as of Friday.

Zambrano and Guillen were "excited about their arrival to their vacation destination, sought to spend some time in the common pool area," the lawsuit states.

The couple went to a hot tube jacuzzi near the common pool area. Guillen entered the jacuzzi and was immediately "exposed to an electrical current in the water," the lawsuit states.

Guillen keeled over into the tub and was taken under the surface of the water. Zambrano saw her husband collapse in the jacuzzi and ran from the pool deck to try and grab him, the lawsuit states. When Zambrano touched Guillen and the water, she was shocked and fell into the jacuzzi.

Sandy Beach in Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Sandy Beach in Puerto Penasco, Mexico

Visitors at the resort ran to the jacuzzi and attempted to help the couple. Zambrano was grabbed by another guest and pulled out of the jacuzzi.

The visitors at the scene used a "shepherd's cross and other items to attempt to get Jorge's body from the jacuzzi. However, the metal from the objects carried the electrical current and began shocking the rescuers," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit alleges it took resort staff 10 minutes to arrive at the scene and to assist in getting Guillen out of the jacuzzi.

"At no time prior to this, did defendants seek to engage the emergency shutoff for the jacuzzi or attempt any rescue of either Jorge or Lizzette," the lawsuit states. "Jorge was being electrocuted and drowned under water for 10 minutes."

Electrical wiring in the jacuzzi was faulty and had not been fixed by any of the defendant's employees, and no signs were posted alerting people to "the deadly hazard," the lawsuit states.

"The faulty jacuzzi on the defendants' premise constituted a dangerous condition," the lawsuit states. "The dangerous condition on the premise posed an unreasonable risk of harm as it was not readily apparent to plaintiff (Zambrano) thus creating a situation where the presence of the dangerous condition could cause invitees to become injured and resulted in death."

The defendants should have known the jacuzzi's dangers or should have in "the exercise of ordinary care" known the jacuzzi was defective, the lawsuit states.

"Defendants breached their duty of ordinary care by failing to adequately maintain the premise and the condition and/or failing to make the condition reasonably safe," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit describes Guillen as an "industrious, affectionate, loving, compassionate, energetic, cooperative, patient, and attentive father and gave guidance, advice, counseling, protection, comfort, services, care, and attention to his family."

It continues, Guillen's "death has deprived Lizzette of the love and society of her husband, and the right to that affection, solace, comfort, companionship, and assistance...Mr. Guillen's death has caused plaintiff (Zambrano) and his children to suffer the loss of his care, advice, maintenance, services, counseling, and all other damages."

The lawsuit is asking for the defendants to pay for the "pain and suffering, earnings loss" of Guillen. It also demands monetary damages for the "mental anguish endured by Lizzette as a result of her injuries" and for medical, funeral and burial expenses.

The attorneys also request a restraining order preventing the "defendants from repairing, utilizing, or destroying any evidence from the jacuzzi involved in the incident."

Aaron Martinez may be reached at amartinez1@elpasotimes.com or on Twitter @AMartinezEPT.

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Hot tub electrocution death in Rocky Point prompts lawsuit from victim