Wisconsin family files lawsuit in 'tragic, senseless' death of daughter

Raquel Rutledge (Milwaukee Journal Sentinal)

Calling her death “tragic, senseless and entirely avoidable,” the family of Abbey Conner filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday in Florida against the Mexico resort where Conner drowned last year and the U.S.-based website company that manages the resort’s bookings.

The 24-page wrongful death complaint outlines the events that unfolded the afternoon Conner and her family arrived in Playa del Carmen at the upscale, all-inclusive resort for a vacation. 

It asserts that Iberostar and its website operator, Visit Us, “knew that alcoholic beverages being served at the Hotel Iberostar Paraiso del Mar were tainted, substandard, poisonous, unfit for human consumption and/or otherwise failed to meet bare minimum standards for food and beverage safety” and failed in their “duty to protect Abbey against risks of physical harm.”

“I think it’s about time that somebody is held responsible for something that has been going on for far too long,” said Bill Conner, Abbey’s dad. “We’re looking for justice for my daughter and for others behind us that have never been vindicated.” 

The death of Conner, a 20-year-old University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student from Pewaukee, sparked an 18-month investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that has since exposed dozens of tragedies experienced by tourists visiting resorts in Mexico in recent years. 

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