June 26, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Beach Club to Pay Woman Over $10M After Son Dies From Heat Exhaustion

Jury renders verdict to Santa Monica mother of William M. Keck III

By Sam Catanzaro

A Santa Monica woman will receive over $10 million from a beach club after her 48-year-old son died from heat exhaustion during a 2017 paddle tennis tournament. 

On Monday, November 25 a Santa Monica jury rendered a $12 million verdict to Katherine “Kitty” Keck of Santa Monica, the mother of 48-year-old William M. Keck III of Marina Del Rey, who suffered from fatal heat exhaustion at the Bel-Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades. 

According to Gina Fernandes, Director of Public Relations for Juris Productions in a press release sent on behalf of the plaintiffs, Keck III died from a heart arrhythmia caused by elevated potassium due to heat exhaustion on September 3, 2017. His mother Kitty sued the Bel-Air Bay Club claiming the staff failed to call 911 or administer proper first aid for over three hours after Keck began showing signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion.

 “Safety was a big factor that was ignored and my son would still be alive if someone had just called for help,” said Kitty Keck. “It’s always better to be safe than sorry,” added Keck.  

During the two-week trial, Keck’s attorneys argued the Club employees owed a duty of care to Keck to recognize his symptoms, his worsening condition and to get him medical aid sooner. 

 “This case was about the stunning lack of training and negligence that caused a tragic death that could have been prevented,” said lead plaintiff attorney Bruce Broillet. “We hope this verdict sends a message to other athletic facilities and clubs to take heat exhaustion seriously,” he added. 


Bel-Air Bay Club. Photo: Wendy Anderson/Archives

 According to Fernandes, Keck III had been playing paddle tennis at a tournament on a “hot and humid” day. 

“Around 1:30 pm he started cramping and asked a locker room attendant to massage his calf.  The cramps persisted and worsened over the next few hours while the locker room attendant continued to massage Keck III. The cramping spread and he continued to sweat in the hot and humid locker room in spite of receiving water and Gatorade. No one from the Club one called 911 until he started having difficulty breathing at 4:57 p.m. The paramedics arrived four minutes later to find Keck turning blue. The Club had procedures requiring a call to 911 for heat exhaustion that was not followed for more than three hours. Keck III died at the hospital at 5:56 pm,” Fernandes said. 

 Keck III is the son of the late William M. Keck II. He was a commercial real estate broker and on the board of the W.M. Keck Foundation and the William M. Keck Jr. Foundation. The W.M. Keck Foundation is best known for its support of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the Keck Telescopes in Hawaii and the support of Sesame Street on KCET. In addition, the William M. Keck, Jr. Foundation has supported the Venice Family Clinic, the Midnight Mission and Meals on Wheels among other southern California organizations. Keck was responsible for grants from both Foundations to the 1736 Family Crisis Center, the People Concern, and CRE Outreach for Theatre by the Blind.

 The jury found that Ms. Keck had suffered $15 million in damages for the loss of the love and affection of her son but also determined that the Club was 80-percent at fault for Keck’s death which reduces the award to $12 million. 

The Santa Monica Mirror has reached out to the Bel-Air Bay Club for comment but they did not respond at the time of publishing. 

Related Posts

The Los Angeles Real Estate Market May Finally Be Slowing Down

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

Real estate sales drop 21 percent in past year By Dolores Quintana The Los Angeles real estate market is showing...

Redevelopment Complete of Former Westside Pavilion Macy’s

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

Developer announces complete of West End at Pico and Overland Developer HLW, on behalf of GPI Companies and in partnership...

Mayor Himmelrich’s Tax Transfer Measure Is Favored to Qualify for the November Election

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

In a cursory review, the City Clerk’s office verified 10,277 of the over 11,000 signatures  By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica...

Active Shooter Training Set for Santa Monica Middle School Friday

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Drill to take place at John Adams Middle School Friday morning By Sam Catanzaro ​​An active shooter training will take...

Metro Church and Cafe Fundraising To Keep Space in Santa Monica

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Non-profit church and coffee shop shut down following false vermin complaint By Dolores Quintana Metropolis Santa Monica is a multi-use...

New Coffee Shop Open on Montana Avenue

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Go Get ‘Em Tiger up and running on corner of Montana and 10th  By Dolores Quintana A new coffee shop...

15-Year Department Veteran Selected as Santa Monica’s Next Director of Library Services

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Erica Cuyugan leads Santa Monica Public Library After performing a nationwide search, the City of Santa Monica recently selected Erica...

Cardboard City Returning to Santa Monica This Weekend

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

5,000 square foot innovative pop-up art installation returns June 25 with opening ceremony  Cardboard City, a 5,000 square foot innovative...

The Book Jewel Celebrates Pride Month as a Community

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Westchester bookstore hosting series of events this month The Book Jewel in Westchester is hosting several events this month that...

Santa Monica Resident Injured in Apartment Fire

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

Pico Neighborhood apartment catches fire last week By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident was injured in an apartment fire...

Bonin Requests Lease Extension for a Bridge Home Homeless Shelter

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

Motion currently pending in City Council committee  By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin is pushing to extend...

Mountain Lion Killed by Vehicle Near the Same Spot Her Mother Was Fatally Struck in 2018

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

P-54 killed on Las Virgenes Road last Friday By Sam Catanzaro Not too far from where her mother was hit...

Rent Board Has Approves Highest Rental Increase In 40 Years: Santa Monica Beat – June 20th, 2022

June 20, 2022

June 20, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Rent Board Has Approves Highest Rental Increase In 40 Years * Recreational Marijuana...

Santa Monica Families Earning Upwards of $190,000 Can Qualify for Mortgage Relief

June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

State expands California Mortgage Relief Program By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica families earning upwards of $190,000 can qualify for mortgage...