Mother blames La Quinta for son's death

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Mar 8, 2018

CLEARWATER — A mother is suing La Qunita, alleging wrongful death in the passing of her son.

Mary Barnes filed a complaint Jan. 23 in Pinellas Circuit Court against LQ FL Properties LLC, doing business as La Quinta Inn, and John Doe, alleging they failed to follow applicable safety guidelines and regulations.

According to the complaint, in the early afternoon of Dec. 3, 2016, a hotel maid found Kevin Jay Heard Jr. unconscious in his room at the La Quinta, 7500 U.S. Highway 19 N., Pinellas Park. The suit says the maid didn't tell anyone.

On Dec. 4, 2016, the lawsuit states, another maid again saw Heard lying on the floor. She contacted the manager but Heard was dead. The suit says Barnes has suffered and will continue to suffer the loss of support and services of her son as well as the loss of consortium, mental pain and suffering, and has incurred medical and funeral expenses.

Barnes blames the negligence of a La Quinta employee who did not recognize and immediately act upon the discovery of Heard unconscious on the floor of the hotel room. The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to turn over an ill or injured guest to a physician, and failed to provide medical assistance in a timely manner.

Barnes seeks trial by jury, damages of at least $15,000, plus court costs, interest, and all other relief the court deems appropriate. She is represented by attorney Ryan Christopher Rodems of Morgan & Morgan PA in Orlando.

Pinellas Circuit Court case number 18-CA-461

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