— It’s been more than two months since a vacation home in Ocala, Florida, was attacked and left to rot after an apparent suicide.
Now, a group of grieving families, friends and neighbors are asking the county for a refund on their vacation home they paid for and are demanding the state provide them with a full refund.
It was April 5, and family and friends were out enjoying a day on the water when a woman climbed aboard a cruise ship and tried to drown herself, her husband said.
She died moments later.
The victim, 46-year-old Jennifer L. Pohl, was a stay-at-home mother of four who lived with her husband and two children in Oconee County.
Her family has filed a lawsuit seeking a full $3.2 million refund.
The lawsuit alleges negligence by a cruise company that provided a room at the Holiday Home Resort in Orford that they paid a deposit for.
The cruise company’s lawyer, Mark A. Stapleton, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
In addition to the $3 million, the lawsuit also claims the family’s insurance company failed to properly assess the damage.
The family claims the damage could have been prevented if the hotel had been equipped with life jackets and fire doors.
In court papers, the families claim the cruise company failed “to provide proper life rafts, fire doors, and other emergency exits” and that the insurance company’s coverage was inadequate.
They say they received no reimbursement for their expenses.
The lawsuit also alleges that the hotel’s management failed to provide a full explanation of the incident and failed to communicate the full extent of the damage to the family.
The cruise company has been in court on behalf of the family for more than three months.
As of Tuesday, no charges have been filed against the company, which says it’s cooperating with the investigation.
Stapleton said the family had contacted the cruise line and said they were “very disappointed” with the company.
The Oconees have long been a popular destination for vacationers.
The holiday season there attracts about 5,000 to 6,000 guests annually.
It is the largest county in the state and has an annual population of about 12,000.
The family said the Oclando resort has a “tremendous” reputation, with the resort regularly listing its guests on the National Register of Historic Places.