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Theory suggests alcohol to blame for tourist deaths in Dominican Republic

By: Casey Clark

CHICAGO (July 17, 2019) – A new theory suggests alcohol may be to blame for the 11 mysterious tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic. At least nine of the deaths involve very similar circumstances.

Similarities between the recent deaths include three of the Americans died at the Bahia Principe Resort within days of each other, and two died at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. In most of these cases, it’s also known that the victims fell severely ill after drinking alcohol from a mini bar in their hotel rooms, while the most recent victim reported drinking a soda that “didn’t taste right” and claiming he couldn’t breathe the next day.

READ MORE | Counterfeit alcohol, sometimes containing jet fuel, is a growing concern for tourists

The hotels where tourists have died suspiciously started removing alcohol from their minibar selections in hotel rooms. The FBI has reportedly begun taking samples of alcohol from the resorts for testing and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also assisting with the investigation.

The hotels in question have a history of health-related problems. In 2009, the Grand Bahia Principe hotel was responsible for nearly 1,000 tourists getting sick and was involved in a number of lawsuits as a result.

The state department has not issued a travel warning for the Dominican Republic because crime in the country is under a level 2 travel advisory, meaning tourists should already be exercising increased caution when considering a visit in general. But experts strongly encourage tourists to do their own research before they book their vacation. Travelers should also visit their doctor before travelling to ask about any underlying health issues.



Patrick A. Salvi

Patrick A. Salvi concentrates his legal practice in several limited areas primarily involving a trial practice in cases concerning serious personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and mass torts. Mr. Salvi has achieved record-breaking jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients, including serving as lead counsel in obtaining an Illinois record-high $148 million jury verdict and a Lake County record $33 million jury verdict.

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