The family of a girl who was electrocuted while touching an outdoor handrail at MGM National Harbor is suing the resort for “major” electrical code violations.
Back in June, Zynae Green was at an outdoor fountain with her family when she reached out and touched the illuminated light rail. Immediately after she touched the rail, she was shocked and went into cardiac arrest. She was then rushed to a hospital, where she spent the next two months for treatment.
Green is "permanently and totally disabled," the lawsuit says and will require care for the rest of her life.
The 6-year-old suffered an anoxic brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen, the family’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, told The New York Post. Right now, Green remains in a semi-vegetative state, breathing on her own but only able to follow movement in the room with her eyes. She is unable to move or walk.
Her 5-year-old brother and 16-year-old sister also were shocked and spent days in the hospital.
The lawsuit names as defendants MGM National Harbor; National Harbor Grand; Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, which was hired by MGM as the general contractor for the hotel and casino; and Rosendin Electric, Inc., which was hired by Whiting-Turner as the electrical contractor, reported NBC Washington.
According to the lawsuit, contractors and inspectors were urged to finish their work quickly at the expense of safety.
An investigation into the incident found important corners were cut during construction. Haitham Hijazi, director of the Prince George's Department of Inspections, said poor electrical work and bad inspection practices were to blame.
"It's shoddy work done by that contractor and a failure by the third-party inspector," Hijazi said.
Green's small body was hit with 120 volts of electricity when she grabbed one charged handrail and put her feet on another on June 26.
According to the lawsuit, the 120 volts was 10 times more than necessary to power the handrail lighting. Surveillance video shows others appearing to be jolted when touching the handrail in the days before Green was shocked.
MGM says they are "committed to continue working with the family's representative to reach a resolution."
"The findings of faulty wiring contained in a report released by the county shows that the high standards that MGM Resorts expects of those contractors were not upheld, which is very disturbing and disappointing," MGM said in a statement Sunday.
The resort also said it will respond to the lawsuit in court.
(Photo: NBC 4 Washington)