Woman killed by alligator on Hilton Head Island, husband files suit

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The husband of a woman killed by an alligator while walking her dog in 2018 on Hilton Head Island has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the resort where it happened.

Husband of woman killed by alligator on Hilton Head Island files lawsuit against resort

James Cline, the husband of Cassandra Cline, is suing the Sea Pines Resort for punitive and actual damages. The suit was filed Tuesday in Beaufort County court.

On August 20, 2018, Cassandra and James Cline were at the resort where they owned property and were visiting from New York where Cassandra was a teacher.

Around 9:30 a.m. Cassandra, 45, was walking their dog near a lagoon when an alligator pulled her underwater, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses told authorities the alligator went after the dog and she tried to save it.

According to the lawsuit, the alligator was more than nine feet long and the Sea Pines Plantation community was aware of issues with alligators there before one attacked Cline. It also states that the resort had a duty to maintain the property and keep it free from hazards to the public, including alligators.

The Beaufort County coroner said the official cause of death is drowning due to attack by an alligator.

The police report from Beaufort County says when they got to the scene she was found unresponsive. It also acknowledges the struggle and fight Cline put up. The report stated her arms and hands suffered notable injury.

A Sea Pines golf course worker on the 13th hole heard Cline screaming. The report says when he saw her she was standing with the water up to her knees.

Sea Pines’ CSA President Bret Martin released a statement on the lawsuit saying, “The entire Sea Pines community continues to mourn the tragic loss of Cassandra Cline. The safety and security of Sea Pines property owners, guests, visitors and staff are of paramount importance to Sea Pines CSA. Our council will provide any and all appropriate responses to the court regarding any filings.”

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