Court Discusses a Hotel’s Duty to Its Guests in Recent Personal Injury Case

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case requiring the court to determine if the defendant hotel had a duty to provide the plaintiff with reasonable assistance. Ultimately, the court concluded that there were issues of fact that needed to be resolved by a jury, and it ordered the case to proceed toward trial.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff checked into the defendant hotel. Prior to checking in, the plaintiff let her husband know where she would be and told him that she would let him know when she arrived. However, the plaintiff never called her husband. Concerned about his wife, the plaintiff’s husband called the hotel to see if his wife had checked in.

The hotel confirmed that the plaintiff did check in, and the front-desk employee asked a maintenance worker to go to the plaintiff’s room to perform a welfare check. The maintenance worker had been employed with the hotel for several years but had never performed a welfare check before.

The maintenance worker went to the plaintiff’s room, knocked on the door, and when no one answered, unlocked the door. As the maintenance worker opened the door, he noticed that the lights were off, so he left without coming into the room. He reported that the plaintiff was not in her room.

By the next morning, the plaintiff’s husband still had not heard from his wife, so he traveled to the hotel. As he entered his wife’s hotel room, he found her lying on the floor. She had suffered a brain aneurysm. The plaintiff and her husband filed a personal injury case against the hotel, arguing that the maintenance worker’s negligence in conducting the welfare check resulted in the plaintiff not being discovered until the following day. The plaintiff also claimed that her symptoms would not have been as severe or long-lasting had she been discovered the previous day.

The trial court granted the hotel’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the hotel did not owe the plaintiff a duty to essentially rescue her when she suffered the aneurysm in her hotel room. However, on appeal, the court reversed that decision. The appellate court held that, while there may have not been a duty to rescue the plaintiff initially, the maintenance worker may have assumed such a duty on behalf of the hotel when he agreed to conduct a welfare check.

The determination of whether the hotel did owe a duty to the plaintiff, and whether the maintenance worker fulfilled that duty, were issues that the court reserved for the jury.

Have You Been Injured While Staying in a Hotel?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a slip-and-fall accident while staying at a Florida hotel, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Florida personal injury lawsuit. The dedicated team of Florida injury attorneys at the law firm of Friedman, Rodman & Frank has extensive experience handling all types of injury claims, including Florida slip-and-fall accidents. To learn more, and to speak with a dedicated Florida personal injury attorney about your case, call 877-448-8585 to schedule your free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Florida’s Rule of Evidence Regarding Witnesses’ Inconsistent Statements, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 19, 2017.

Appellate Court Discusses the Government’s Responsibility to Maintain Safe Roadways, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published February 5, 2018.

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