Lawsuits allege Lani Kai Resort doesn’t properly protect guests from violence

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Lani Kai

Two lawsuits have been filed against the Lani Kai Resort stating the business could have done more to protect people during a series of violent crimes.

The popular spot on Fort Myers Beach was recently the scene of a homicide and the lawsuits are seeking $30,000 in damages.

Nearly a month after the shooting killed a man and injured two others, there have been no arrests, and the family of the deceased is done waiting.

“There’s not a single word in the dictionary to describe a parent who loses a child because there’s no way to describe that type of grief,” said attorney Joe North.

“The property should’ve had better security measures in place because they didn’t then. I’ve got two victims that I’m trying to help.”

North is not only representing the family of the man shot and killed, but also one of two other people shot and injured that night.

In the days after the July 15 killing, the Lani Kai vowed to put new security measures in place. Most importantly, guests will be required to wear wristbands. After hours, those guests will be the only ones allowed to walk to the property.

North said it’s too little, too late.

“Even though someone pulled the trigger, and it wasn’t the property owner that pulled the trigger, they have a legal duty to prevent these criminal attacks.”

Dawn Thomas lives near the Lani Kai and hopes the resort’s forced to pay a big price.

“It’s really sad that a young man who was just going to hang out with family and friends had to lose his life for a hotel that has problems,” she said.

North said he believes that had the Lani Kai had proper security in place, his client’s son would still be alive.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said it has a person of interest in the Lani Kai shooting in custody on unrelated charges. WINK News asked the resort to respond to the lawsuit, but a spokesperson said they couldn’t because the homicide investigation is still active.

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