Bahamas shark attack victim sues Our Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort for $25 million
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by JOHN MARZULLI
STUART, Florida (5 Dec 2003) -- A Wall Street banker who lost part of his left leg in a vicious shark attack is suing a Bahamas resort for $25 million, arguing that the hotel should have warned guests about the shark-infested waters nearby.
Krishna Thompson of Central Islip, L.I., nearly bled to death after fighting off the man-eating fish while snorkeling in 5 feet of water during an August 2001 vacation at the posh Our Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort on Grand Bahama Island.
According to Thompson's lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court, the resort's beach is dangerously close to "Shark Junction," where tourists pay to watch frenzied sharks feed.
The complaint also alleges lifeguards failed to rush to Thompson's aid after he was attacked during an early-morning dip.
Thompson, who was celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary, beat off the bloodthirsty shark with his fists, managed to swim to shore and was airlifted to a Miami hospital.
"The hotel knew that there were shark feeding tours taking place nearby. There were no warnings about the sharks. There were no nets put up to prevent the sharks from invading the beachfront," Thompson's lawyer, Derek Sells, told Federal Judge Carol Amon during an October court conference.
Thompson, 38, and his wife, Ave Maria Thompson, who also is suing for $5 million, rejected a $200,000 settlement offer, according to a court transcript obtained by the Daily News.
The resort's legal team is pressing to transfer the lawsuit from Brooklyn to the Bahamas, where payouts for pain and suffering are as rare as shark attacks.
Resort lawyer Frank Raia has said the shark feeding tours are more than a mile from the beach and are run by Bahamian companies with no ties to Our Lucaya.
"Sounds like those parties are potential [defendants] in this case," Raia said during the October hearing. "That's another reason why this case needs to be in the Bahamas."
Thompson, who may need additional surgery on his leg, has indicated he would settle for between $3 million and $6.5 million, which Raia told the judge was "way too high."
Neither Raia nor Sells returned calls last week for comment.