CHAPTER SEVEN Negligence and hos by pengtt

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									           CHAPTER SEVEN:
Negligence and hospitality practices-
              Part 2
   Duty owed to guests outside:
    – Outside door service.
       • Kurzweg v. Hotel St. Regis Corp. Even though
         it is not mandatory to furnish a doorman, if the
         hotel has one, he may be liable for negligence.
    – Grounds. When using sidewalk, the hotel is
      not liable for injuries caused by obvious
      defects, but if they are not obvious, the
      hotel may be liable.
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    • Sherman v. Arno. A possessor of the premises
      is not the insurer. only reasonable care. if
      condition is obvious, then no duty to warn.
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  – Outdoor sporting facilities. Even though the
    guest assumes the risk of sports, the hotel
    still has a duty to exercise reasonable care
    and maintain the facilities.
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  – Outdoor lighting requirements. The premises
    must be properly lighted, but what is enough?
    The guest is not guilty of contributory
    negligence if an unlighted path is the only way
    available. Also parking lots must be
    illuminated. The outdoor light fixtures should
    be inspected daily. Also when a visitor of a
    guest gets injured due to insufficient lighting,
    the hotel is liable because in this case the
    visitor is treated as a guest.
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   Duty owed to guests in swimming
    areas:
    – Exercise reasonable care. Not strictly
      liable, but must exercise reasonable care.
    – Introduce no new hazards. The hotel
      cannot leave new objects and objects
      which are not supposed to be there, such
      as cleaning equipment.
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  – Comply with statutory regulations. The
    hotel must follow the statutory
    requirements, both when building the pool,
    running it and maintaining it.
    • Hooks v. Washington Sheraton. 18-year old
      dives from three meter diving board, but water
      not deep enough. Strikes head on bottom. Gets
      injured. Rule: Exercise ordinary care.
      Assumption of risk? Not, when the guest is the
      using the facility in a manner it was intended to
      be used. If the hotel did not comply with the
      statutory requirements, it is negligent per se.
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  – Safety Equipment. A hotel must maintain
    safety equipment necessary to rescue a
    guest.
  – Act on superior knowledge of dangers. If
    superior knowledge, then liable.
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    • Coates v. Mulji Motor Inn. Lights around and in
      pool. Dusk when swimming. bottom lights not
      on. Signs indicating that no lifeguard was on
      duty. Assumption of risk: If the guest has the
      same knowledge of a hazard as the proprietor
      but still uses the facility, then the proprietor
      does not have superior knowledge and can not
      be liable if anything happens. The guest
      assumes the risk. The knowledge on the part of
      the guest relates not only to the physical facts
      but also knowledge of the significance of those
      facts.
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    • Steele v. Inn of Vicksburg. A boy dies in a hotel pool. The water
      is not clear, but clouded and the pool manager has treated the
      water but is aware of the fact that it cannot clear up overnight.
      The pump and filter are both working perfectly and the pool is
      inspected daily. The hotel could have closed the pool because
      of the cloudiness, but chose not to. A guest testifies that she
      did not have a problem with letting her children swim in the
      pool. The children are playing in the pool, but at some point two
      boys are missing. One is found in the hallway, but the other is
      30 minutes later discovered at the bottom of the pool. The
      question is who is responsible and is there negligence on the
      part of the hotel. The boy was not supervised properly. On the
      other hand the hotel should have warned against the cloudy
      water. The case is decided by a jury in the favor of the hotel,
      but it could have gone either way.
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  – Warn guests of unusual natural hazards. A
    hotel has to disclose unusual natural
    hazards to their guests by signage, but
    they do not have to warn about normal
    natural hazards, such as the normal risks
    connected with swimming in the ocean.
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    • Mihill v. Ger-Am Inc. A boy falls into a lake from a
      swing located on the defendant’s property. The
      swings are intended for use by the guests, but there
      is evidence that neighborhood children use the
      swings to jump into the water. Plaintiff has never
      swum in the water before so he is not aware of the
      fact that the water is shallow in the beginning but
      gets much deeper further out and that in order to
      make a safe jump the swing must swing so fast that
      one lands in the deep water. He lands in the
      shallow water and hits his head which renders him
      quadriplegic. There is enough evidence in the facts
      not to grant the hotel’s motion for summary
      judgment.
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  – Restrict use or warn of hazards in the water. If
    e.g surfing is allowed in the same area as
    swimming, the hotel has to post a sign.
  – Inspect for glass in the pool area. The hotel
    has a duty to inspect. but if somebody just
    dropped the glass a few minutes prior to an
    accident, the hotel cannot be held responsible
    because that would make them the insurer of
    the safety of their guests.
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  – Inspects lake bottoms for hazards. If a hotel
    invites its guests to go swimming in lakes or in
    another natural body of water, it has to inspect
    the bottom for hazards.
  – Control boisterous conduct of guests. When
    horseplay is allowed in the pool area,
    accidents are likely to happen. therefore if the
    hotel is aware of horseplay and is not doing
    anything about it, they will be liable because
    horseplay is seen as an unsafe condition
    which the hotel has a duty to eliminate or warn
    against.
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  – Expect liability to guests’ visitors. Same duty is
    owed to the guests’ visitors as to the guests
    themselves. It depends on whether the guest
    is treated as an invitee or as a trespasser. If
    the guest enters the pool without the consent
    of the guest and without his knowledge, he
    ceases to be an invitee.
  – Expect protection from guests’ negligence. A
    hotel is not liable for guests’ breach of rules or
    their negligence.
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   Special duties:
    – Injuries caused by fire. A hotel can be
      liable for not maintaining fire equipment
      etc.
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    • Maintain fire safety equipment. Most states have
      legislation on this. A hotel needs to have fire
      extinguishers, duty to test them, sprinkler systems,
      smoke detectors, fire alarms, posting of maps, etc.
      Failure to comply with the statutes results in
      negligence per se, so if the if the failure to comply is
      the proximate cause of the injury, then the hotel is
      liable. But the statutes only set the minimum
      standards and even though the hotel complied with
      the regulations that doesn’t automatically free them
      from liability. The hotel should start with the
      regulations and then work its way up from there.
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    • Train staff on how to respond to a fire. A hotel
      has a further responsibility after the fire breaks
      out. the staff must be trained, the alarms
      working etc.
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      – Darby v. Checker. The 4th floor in a hotel burns
        and the plaintiff tries to get out of the window by
        climbing down some sheets that her fiancé has
        tied to a dresser. She gets dizzy and falls to the
        grounds, severely and permanently injuring
        herself. She charges the hotel with negligence
        and willful and wanton conduct by not having
        adequate safeguards against fire. The
        defendant alleges that there is no proximate
        cause and that she is guilty of contributory
        negligence. There is no evidence that the hotel
        acted negligent and that it did not have the
        safety equipment and fire-escapes necessary.
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      – Taieb v. Hilton Hotels. If the fire is small
        and quickly under control and extinguished,
        the hotel does not have to warn the other
        guests, if they are not in any kind of danger.
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  – Security. The level of security needed in
    order not to be held liable is a matter of
    foreseeability, reasonable care etc.
     • Maintain adequate staff and security
       procedures. If hotel’s inadequate security is the
       proximate cause of injury to guest caused by
       third person, the hotel can be held liable for
       negligence.
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        – Nordmann v. Nat’l Hotel CO. The hotel can
          be held liable if they do not have enough
          staff on duty, if they don’t respond properly
          to emergency calls (like taking it seriously
          and call the police).
    • Match security to circumstances. In some
      cases the duty of the hotel is raised to a high
      degree of care instead of a reasonable one.
      However the to categories may overlap
      because the definition of reasonable care is not
      static. Match security to crime rate in the
      neighborhood.
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      – Peters v. Holiday Inns. It is considered
        foreseeable that an innkeeper’s failure to
        maintain adequate security measures not
        only permits but may even encourage
        criminal activity. The hotel has a duty to
        provide adequate protection. Adequate
        protection is dependent on the crime rate in
        the area, industry standards, previous
        incidents etc.
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    • Match security to neighborhood crime rates.
       – Cyzio v. Rihga International USA. A guest is
         assaulted in a hotel room. The hotel is
         located in a high crime area and therefore
         heightened security is warranted. Also an
         expert affidavit states that the hotel’s
         security measures are inadequate. A hotel
         is “required to take reasonable protective
         measures, including providing adequate
         security.”
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    • Adequate security can eliminate liability.
       – Courtney v. Remler. A woman was assaulted
         and raped while staying in a hotel. The crime in
         the area had steadily risen, but there had been
         no prior assaults at the inn. But the inn was
         aware of the increase in the crime level and it
         was also aware of the fact that there was one
         rape reported every month on the island. The
         inn even hired a security guard to patrol the
         premises at night. All the rooms had three exits,
         there was fluorescent lights outside and the
         doors have metal frames and are equipped with
         an automatic lock, but have no chains.
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     The couple staying in the motel opened their door
     as a response to a knock even though they cannot
     see anyone from the peep hole. They are attacked.
     The inn must have foreseen the possibility of
     criminal attacks and it has a duty to exercise
     reasonable care to protect their guests from
     attacks. The issue is whether the inn lived up to this
     duty. In determining this the court must take all
     factors into account, also the purpose and function
     of the business. The inn is a luxury island motel and
     it could not have done much more to secure the
     safety of their guests without turning the motel into
     a prison. The motel is not the insurer of a guest’s
     safety. Not liable.
        CHAPTER SEVEN:
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    • Security personnel and firearms. A hotel also
      has to exercise reasonable care towards their
      employees and thereby also their security
      personnel. but do firearms carried by that
      personnel help or hurt.
  – Medical care. There is no duty to offer
    guests medical services. If the hotel
    chooses to offer it anyway, it must exercise
    reasonable care in the selection of
    personnel and the provision of services.

								
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