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Friday, Jun 23, 2017
Local News

Family files suit in Tampa woman's carbon monoxide death

TAMPA - Lawyers for the family of a woman who died in her apartment last year from carbon monoxide poisoning have filed a civil lawsuit against several businesses connected to the apartment and the man who left a car running in the garage. In September, Rebecca Hawk was found dead in her apartment at Vista Grande at Tampa Palms, 5207 Cypress Palms Lane. The cause of death was ruled an accident by carbon monoxide poisoning. Neighbor Andrew Grywalski had parked his 2011 Mazda 3 in the garage and accidentally left it running for an estimated 12 hours. But Hawk's lawyers don't solely blame Grywalski for not turning off the car's engine. They also blame the landowner, the apartment management company, the architect, an engineer and general contractor for negligence in Hawk's death.
"If any of these defendants had done something different, we believe the outcome would not have been the same," said attorney Mark Lind, who is representing Hawk's family with attorney Steven Combs of Jacksonville. According to the suit, the landowner, Breof TC Vista Grand, and apartment manager, Fairfield Property Management, failed to maintain a "separation wall" between Hawk's apartment and didn't keep the garage in "good repair." The separation wall also had inadequate insulation, the lawsuit states. Hawk, 23, was a child protection investigator trainee with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. At the time of her death, she was spending her first week on the street after having completed training in the program. Her death was ruled accidental and Grywalski was not charged.

jpatino@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7659

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