Lumière Palace Settles with Parents of Boy Who Drowned in Pool

Posted on: March 28, 2022, 05:13h. 

Last updated on: March 28, 2022, 01:53h.

The Lumière Palace in St. Louis, Mo. has agreed to settle with the parents of a nine-year-old boy who drowned in the hotel swimming pool four years ago, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Lumiere Palace
Ed Harris Jr tragically died after being pulled from the bottom of the pool at the Lumière Palace in St Louis. His parents argued the casino hotel violated a litany of safety codes. (Image: SL Today)

The boy attended a children’s birthday party at the hotel’s indoor pool on August 12, 2018 with his mother, Deanna Harris. At some point during the party, guests spotted Harris at the bottom of the pool. Following CPR, he was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he died three days later.

The parents sued the casino resort in 2018 for causing the wrongful death of their son, Ed Harris Jr., by negligence.

Harris was the son of a St Louis firefighter from the Tower Grove South area of the city.

The suit named the casino’s then-owner, Tropicana Entertainment, and the casino’s then-manager and the casino’s vice president and general manager, Brian Marsh.

The Lumière Palace is now owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Caesars Entertainment. It is currently rebranding as the Horseshoe St Louis.

Safety Failings

The lawsuit argued the defendants failed in their duty of care to ensure the pool was safe for visitors. In addition, they knew the children’s birthday party was taking place despite having a rule that parties were not permitted in the pool area, it claimed.

Safety issues included that the water was murky, which made it difficult to clearly see the bottom, and the pool lights were not on. Meanwhile, the divider with floats between the shallow and deep end was not in place, the ring buoy rope was tangled, and the line was not long enough to cover the length of the pool, according to the lawsuit.

In all, the Lumière Palace violated at least 13 state and city safety codes, while failing to provide proper supervision and lifesaving equipment, the plaintiffs argued.

“More specifically, Defendants had actual knowledge of the unsafe condition of the Swimming Pool and Swimming Pool area prior to Edward L. Harris, Jr.’s death, as they had been cited, warned, and notified of numerous violations of Missouri Regulations and City of St. Louis Codes related to the Swimming Pool in the past,” it read.

Confidential Settlement

The plaintiffs sought exemplary and punitive damages in excess of $25,000, and any further relief deemed applicable by the court.

The case was due to go to trial in St. Louis Circuit Court the week of March 14. But the parties reached the settlement a few days before opening statements, according to court filings.

The confidential settlement was approved by Judge Madeline Connolly last Thursday.