Hospitality Negligence ( A Hotel’s Duty Of Care To Its Guests/Customers) Part 2

Deborah Warrie

Deborah Warrie

In the last edition we talked about the legal duties of Hotels, to their guests/customers. We will proceed, from where we stopped.

Hotels must exercise reasonable care during the hiring process, train pool staff to prevent injuries and maintain locks on hotel room doors. Most importantly a Hotel must ensure the safety of its customers and their property, while they are lodging with them.

Common hotel duties include a duty to maintain adequate lighting, a duty to keep steps dry and unobstructed, and a duty to repair problems with hotel property, furniture, and equipment. Other general hotel duties and responsibilities to guests include:

  1. Control insect infestation (“bed bugs”)
  2. Communicate with their guest, first before sending any visitor or transferring any call, to the Hotel room of the guests.
  3. Maintain proper security (including guards and cameras) to avoid theft and assaults on guests.
  4. Exercise reasonable care in hiring hotel staff
  5. Train hotel pool staff to prevent injuries to guests
  6. Maintain stairs and elevators, and
  7. Maintain locks on hotel rooms.

There is also a duty to reasonably construct hotel steps or warn guests of unusual staircase locations, or any previous security threat, within and around the Hotel vicinity. When a hotel fails to keep the above responsibilities, it has breached its legal duty to guests and can be liable to pay damages for the same.

How to prove a hotel failed to exercise its duty of care to its customers.

The first element that must be met is proving that a hotel is liable for your personal injury claim is to prove negligence. This means you must be able to prove that the hotel breached its duty to prevent the injury and that the breach of duty was responsible for your injury.

Proving That a Hotel Was Negligent

Most personal injury cases require the injured claimant to show that his or her harm was caused by someone’s carelessness or negligence. In order to hold a hotel legally responsible for injuries that occurred on the premises, you’ll probably need to establish that the hotel was somehow negligent. That means showing that the hotel breached a duty owed to you, and that the breach caused your injury. Let’s look at each of these elements separately.

The  Hotel’s Negligence Must Be the Cause of the Guest’s Injury

In all negligence cases, the defendant (the party being sued) must cause the plaintiff’s (the party suing) injury. It must be reasonably foreseeable to the defendant that his or her actions could cause injury to the plaintiff. As a real-world example, a hotel is probably not negligent when a hotel guest slips on another guest’s spilled soda in their individual hotel room. However, the hotel could be liable if the room has just been cleaned by the hotel staff and an obvious spill or other hazard was not remedied. Next edition of this article will address the next element.

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