Hotel, resort and recreational related cases are increasing rapidly as travelers have more leisure time and there is greater competition among resort providers for the tourist dollar. Hotels and Resorts activities are all bidding for the same discretionary traveler’s dollars, increasing the risk to the traveling public and decreasing safety standards and practices. As a matter of economics and aggressive marketing, we see more and more misrepresentations of safety, improper and understaffed facilities, lack of written procedures and safety guidelines.
Vacationers may be particularly unaware and let their “guard down” to crime and other predictable hazards as they enter the relaxed resort environment of a large hotel. Alcohol consumption is often up, and awareness of crime proportionately down.
Resorts are extremely complex properties, which present a multitude of security concerns and resulting problems. Because they offer a wide variety of activities, they normally employ a significant number of staff and also routinely rely upon a wide range of outside personnel to provide service to their guests: Resorts pose additional security challenges due to multiple access points and the presence of large amounts of cash, jewelry and other personal property.
As a result, many patrons are the victims of crimes occurring at resorts and hotels each year. Although resulting cases have much in common with other types of negligent security litigation, they also have their own peculiar characteristics and problems.
Under the common law, a resort owes its guests the legal duty to protect them from all “dangers of which it should be aware. . . [including] reasonably foreseeable criminal attacks.” Although, foreseeability can be established in many different ways, the most common method is through evidence of prior criminal activity.
There are hundreds of millions of national and international visitors who are tempted or otherwise dared to get involved in recreational activities, water sports, and high thrill adventures for which neither they are prepared, nor are the providers and vendors. Let’s consider some of the rapidly rising scenarios that give way to unique and recreational litigation. “Let us take you on a tour where you will partake in ... ” Zip lining; Parasailing; Scuba diving; Bungee jumping; Snorkeling; Jet skiing; Bicycling; Moped riding; Caving; or Horseback riding.
When the unknowing and uninformed guest of a hotel or resort realizes upon the representations of the host and believes that the venture is either sponsored, sanctioned, inspected or controlled by the host, a strong case for holding the insured can be made.
As mentioned above, these hotels and resorts will advertise activities to their guests which lead to injuries and devastation. In addition to the hotels due diligence in recommending and cooperating with the sellers of activities, the actual premises of the hotels and resorts are often unmonitored and unsecured. Cases against resorts and hotels include sexual assaults and crime, serious injuries from falls, failures to warn. Our firm obtained a $40 million record setting verdict in Key West for negligent security/parking lot assault at a major resort hotel. Poor maintenance of common spaces and rooms themselves, failure to warn resort visitors of danger adjoining properties and foreseeable injury or death.
Examples of cases in which Leesfield Scolaro has represented clients against hotels/resorts:
- Wrongful death resulting from burns at Caribbean hotel
- Wrongful death due to gas leak at resort hotel
- Tourist assaulted at motel due to inadequate lighting and security
- Malfunctioning suction jet at spa causing severe internal injuries
- Assault and battery in hotel parking garage
- Carbon monoxide poisoning due to faulty equipment at hotel
- Trip and fall on hotel entrance sidewalk due to obstruction
- Brain damage to child due to hot tub overheating caused by defective thermostat
- Fall on resort stairway due to excessive height gaps between steps
- Child injured from untrained horse at riding stable
If you were seriously injured during your stay at a hotel or resort, contact our firm immediately and call 305-854-4900 to discuss your potential claim with our experienced premises liability attorneys