LONDON (AP) — A British man paralyzed during the deadly Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 is suing the owners of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, alleging that they did not properly secure the building despite warnings that an attack was imminent.
Lawyers for Will Pike said Tuesday that they are bringing a civil claim for damages at London's High Court against the Indian Hotels Company Ltd., part of Indian conglomerate Tata Group. The century-old luxury hotel was a key site during the days-long assault on Mumbai landmarks, which began five years ago Tuesday and left more than 160 people dead. Hundreds of guests were staying at the hotel when gunmen entered, spraying gunfire and setting rooms ablaze.
Pike's lawyer said that in a 2008 CNN interview, the then-chairman of the Tata Group confirmed that the hotel had been warned. "Clear warnings were received by the hotel that an attack was being conceived and they were a target," said Russell Levy. "Despite that they did not put in security measures that would have made the terrorists choose a different target, or prevent them from being able to mount the attack in the way they did."
Levy said Pike, 33, was spending the last night of a holiday in India with his girlfriend at the hotel on Nov. 26, 2008 when they heard gunfire from other rooms and saw smoke coming out from the floor below.
The pair sought to escape through the window by climbing down knotted bedding and curtains, but Pike fell to the ground from the third floor and became paralyzed. A High Court hearing is scheduled to take place on Dec. 2 to determine whether Pike's case can go forward in Britain.