ATLANTA — The family of a 5-year-old boy who died after an accident at Atlanta’s iconic Sun Dial Restaurant at the Westin Peachtree Plaza four years ago has resolved its lawsuit with Marriott, the company that owns the hotel.
Charlie Holt died in 2017 after getting caught between a wall and a table on the restaurant’s rotating floor. The child was visiting Atlanta from North Carolina with his parents, Rebecca and Michael Holt, when he was pinned. Staff and employees were able to free Charlie, but he had suffered a catastrophic brain injury and later died at Grady Memorial Hospital.
A lawsuit filed by the family in 2017 alleged that the restaurant failed to prevent a “longstanding safety hazard” that led to Charlie Holt’s death and disputed initial claims the boy wandered away from his family.
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On Wednesday, the family and Marriott issued joint statements saying they now agree Charlie did not wander away from his family and that both parties have agreed to resolve the matter and avoid further litigation. The terms of the settlement were not released.
“On April 14, 2017, Charlie Holt suffered a serious injury at the Sun Dial Restaurant, a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia. There have been conflicting media reports about this tragedy. Some initial reports suggested that the child’s parents were responsible because Charlie had wandered away from his family and that his parents were not being vigilant in watching their son. After a full investigation, all sides can confidently say that these initial reports were incorrect. Both sides agree that Charlie did not wander off. Charlie and his family were leaving the restaurant after finishing their meal and the parents were close to Charlie as they were leaving. When the accident occurred, Charlie’s parents, the Sun Dial employees and bystanders did everything that they could to try to save Charlie. Unfortunately, Charlie suffered a serious brain injury and later died as a result of those injuries. The parties have agreed to resolve this matter and avoid further litigation. The terms of the settlement are strictly confidential. This statement has been approved by both the Holt Family and Marriott International, Inc.”
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Charlie’s parents issued a separate statement, saying:
“Our family will never recover from the loss of Charlie. In fact we have struggled for many months with whether or not we should release this joint statement. Being under the microscope of the world has been horrific and the thought of conjuring it up again was like reopening a wound that will never fully heal. However, we are reminded of the goal of this statement, so that Charlie’s siblings know that their brother and their parents did nothing wrong that day. One day, when they Google their brother, which they will, they need to be able to find the truth hidden in the lies and commentary of the press and police officers who never asked nor took our statement. We owe it to Charlie to make sure the world knows the truth. And we owe it to all families, to make sure safety measures have been put into place to prevent this from ever happening again.”
According to the Sun Dial’s website, the restaurant no longer rotates.
The family has created a foundation to honor Charlie.
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