Man sues Mahabaleshwar resort after arch collapses on him leaving bedridden for a month

Updated: Feb 24, 2019, 08:33 IST | Diwakar Sharma

Man to sue Mahabaleshwar resort for Rs 12 lakh after arch collapses on him during vacation and leaves him bedridden for a month

Man sues Mahabaleshwar resort after arch collapses on him leaving bedridden for a month
Stalin Abhimanyu posing under the arch at Bella Vista Resort in Mahabaleshwar, moments before it collapsed on him

A 37-year-old advocate from Chennai is dragging a Mahabaleshwar resort to the consumer court after his picture-perfect vacation turned into a holiday from hell. One minute, he was smiling for photos under an arch, and the next, he was groaning under nearly 200 kg of stone blocks that had collapsed on him. Already injured and bleeding, the man had fallen on a colony of fire ants which crawled into his clothes, forcing him to strip to his underwear in public view.

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Stalin Abhimanyu will never forget the pain and humiliation he suffered on his horrific holiday at Bella Vista Resort in Mahabaleshwar. "I was taking photos with my family at the lawn near my room's balcony. There was a 10-foot arch on the lawn with green hills in the backdrop. Tempted by the scenery, I posed for a picture under the arch. I rested my hands on the pillars while my wife clicked the picture. All of a sudden, huge mud blocks started falling from the top of the arch. Each weighed about 10 kg, and the first one hit my head, I collapsed to the ground," he recalled.

"Around 20 more blocks fell all over my body as I lay helpless. Blood was oozing from various part of my body. My wife froze at first, but quickly recovered and tried to lift the heavy blocks off, to no avail," he added.

Stalin Abhimanyu says he is prepared to fight the resort management in court
Stalin Abhimanyu says he is prepared to fight the resort management in court

Stinging humiliation
But Abhimanyu was in for further anguish yet. "The accident had disturbed a colony of huge fire ants. In the few minutes it took for the resort staff to come to my rescue, the fire ants got under my clothes and started stinging me. Once the staffers had helped me up, I had no choice but to remove my T-shirt and jeans right there, in front of all the guests and employees of the resort."

One of the staff members brought a towel, which Abhimanyu wrapped around himself. He washed his wounds under a tap in the lawn,, and waited as a doctor was called for first aid. "My head was swollen at the back, and it hurt unbearably. The doctor advised me to go to the hospital for a CT Scan," said Abhimanyu, who was rushed to Pune for treatment. From there, he was flown home to Chennai on a wheelchair.

The partially collapsed archway at Bella Vista Resort
The partially collapsed archway at Bella Vista Resort

Still suffering
Treatment for his injuries still goes on, giving him further nasty side effects. While the CT scan did not reveal any brain injury, his head remained swollen and painful for a long time. "The pain in my back has left me bed-ridden.

In Chennai, when I consulted the orthopaedic specialist regarding my inability to move, he diagnosed it as an acute spasm on my back. He also said that my ligaments had been ruptured because of the fall," said Abhimanyu.

"Because of the medicines, I have lost my appetite and frequently suffer from severe stomach upsets. I am unable to even walk from my bed to the washroom to attend nature's call. With my left hand immobile, I have to use my right hand for my cleaning needs; it is horrible. I have lost my sleep to pain. I am suffering for no fault of mine, except in choosing the resort for my holiday," said Tamilian, who will now take the fight to the consumer court, as well as lodging a police complaint.

The advocate has demanded compensation of Rs 12 lakh, including Rs 1 lakh for mental agony caused to him due to the resort's alleged negligence. "The resort has miserably failed to provide even a minimum reasonable standard for a safe environment within its premises... The arch has collapsed, that should speak for itself. It proves that the arch was built and maintained negligently... The blatant negligence has caused grievous hurt to me, not only endangering my life, but also my personal safety, and I will initiate appropriate separate criminal action against the entire management," he stated in a notice to the resort dated January 2.

The Bella Vista Resort management did not respond to mid-day's repeated requests for comment. The front office manager, who identified himself as Shiva, said, "The relevant person from our resort will contact you." However, no one from the resort reached out to the report, nor did they respond when mid-day called again.

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