Elevators are an indispensable part of most hotels. Elevators are in great demand and accidents occassionaly happen. The causes range from failing to level the elevator with the floor when a guest is exiting, to malfunctioning elevators that plunge down the shaft out of control. A hotelkeeper who operates an elevator is obligated to use ordinary care in its maintenance and operation.
The lobby is the most frequent used public area of a hotel, special precautions should be taken. Frequent inspections should be made to ensure pathways are not blocked by suitcases or anything large. Also, that the rugs have no holes that might cause a guest to trip. Then employees are cleaning they should put up a barrier around to protect guests.
Many problems involving bathroom fixtures and plumbing can be avoided if housekeeping personnel are instructed to examine the bathroom fixtures routinely. If the fixtures appear cracked or broken, or if the water temperature rises substantially, maintenance should be called to inspect and make repairs. In one case a man cut his hand when a faucet on the sink fell on it. Evidence established that the hotel failed to make regular inspections. Therefore the hotel lost the case.
If a guest is injured by an animal and the hotel or restaurant's negligence led to its presence, liability will result. A hotel guest was bitten by a rat while sleeping. Numerous rat hotel were found in the baseboard prior to this event. The jury held for the plantiff, apparently relying on the failure of the hotel to discover and remove the rat holes.
Testing a Circuit Breaker Panel for 240-Volt Electrical Service
If party responsible for an electrical problem cannot be identified, liability will not result. Plantiff saw smoke coming from a room. He entered to investigate and was burned by an exploding electrical panel. The evidence established that keys to the room had been distributed to numerous people and no evidence that the construction company left it open. The court concluded that the wrongdoing in the case was leaving the door unlocked and failed to identify who did.
You must also make sure windows, window fixtures, and screens in your establishment are properly in place. Ensuring no one gets hurt by falling things. In one case, a man was knocked to the floor by fallen decorative woodwork that framed a window. the woodwork and window had been negligently maintained. In this case, the establishment was held liable.
Casinos especially have to check if all of their furniture in their establishment work properly. Since many people are coming through they need to make sure everything is alright. For example, a casino escaped liability for a collapsing bar stool used by a patron to play video poker. The plantiff who weighed 350 lbs was leaning back on the stool so that 2 out of 4 legs were off the ground. The jury found the casino not negligent.
Hotels are responsible for making sure their beds, chairs, and other seats are working properly and not broken. In one case their was a 5'2" woman who was trying to reach the 6'9" thermostat. She took the chair in her room and stood on it to reach the thermostat. When she stood on the chair the chair collapsed. She sued the motel for negligence. The motel tried arguing that she knew the chair was not intended for that use, but they were found negligent.
Courts generally permit recovery for injuries caused by defective beds and furniture. For example, a bed that would fold up so as to leave the bed in an upright position when not in use (Murphy Bed.) The top of the bed was heavy, weighing about 300 lbs. As the plantiff was about to leave it in the morning the top portion of the bed fell forward upon him. The plantiff sued the hotel. The mechanisms should be inspected regularly to ensure proper functioning.
When a guest arrives at a hotel they expect their room to be clean. If their room is not cleaned well, liability can result. In New Jersey, a hotel customer saw her room and asked for it to be cleaned because it was extremely messy. The next morning she was answering a knock on her door and stepped on a needle. Since the hotel failed in performance of this duty, the hotel was liable for resulting injuries.