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Family sues tour company over death of their son

The family of a 15-year-old New York teen has filed a wrongful death suit after he was swept out to sea in Hawaii over the Independence Day holiday. The boy's body has yet to be found and he is presumed dead. By leading the group of teens into a dangerous area, the family claims, the tour guide was negligent.

The group was hiking in Hawaii when they took a break near a tide pool, and according to the suit, were lead by the tour guide outside the state-permitted area. The victim was last seen being swept through the tide pool and out to the ocean. The family is also claiming that, in addition to showing negligence by taking the teens outside the permitted area, the tour guide did not take action to prevent their son from being swept away. It also alleges that the guide has a criminal history, including drug possession.

Los Angeles sees an incredible amount of tourist activity, and has a large population of young people. Tour companies are meant to guide their patrons to their destinations safely, by following guidelines -- they ought to know the area in which they are touring, as the tour group members do not and are trusting in the guides. In this case, we see that the guide's alleged negligence cost a young man his life.

Obviously, tour guides want to give group members an unforgettable experience by taking them to places they might not get otherwise. However, they are charged with the safety and well-being of their patrons. Wrongful death is not part of the package.

Source: Washington Post, "Family of NY teen swept to sea of Hawaii file federal wrongful death, negligence lawsuit," Aug. 22, 2012

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