Number of US tourist deaths in Dominican Republic rises to ten
CHICAGO (June 21, 2019) – At least ten American citizens have died in the Dominican Republic over the past year.
Officials have not said the deaths are connected, but there are several similarities between them. Three of the Americans died at the Bahia Principe resort in La Romana within days of each other and two died at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana. In most cases, the victims fell ill after drinking from a mini bar in their hotel room.
These hotels have a long history of health problems. In 2009, the Grand Bahia Principe chain was the center of a series of lawsuits relating to nearly 1,000 British tourists getting sick. the group was awarded £5.5 million ($6.9 million US Dollars).
The US Embassy in Santo Domingo has said it is “actively working” with Dominican authorities to ensure American citizens are safe. Dominican officials have asked for FBI assistance for further toxicology analysis.
The State Department has not issued a travel warning for trips to the Dominican Republic because crime in the country is under a Level 2 travel advisory, which means to exercise increased caution. But the mounting stories have people wondering just how safe these exclusive resorts really are and wondering if they should cancel their own trips.
Last year, tourism represented more than 17% of the country’s economy. About 6.5 million tourists visited the Dominican Republic last year, more than any other Caribbean nation, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The United States accounted for 2.2 million of those tourists.
When booking a trip, the premises liability attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard warn it is important to consider the potential risks and understand your legal rights. Tourists should do their own research into the safety of resorts and make sure they visit their doctor prior to traveling to be aware of any underlying health issues.