Court Holds Hotel May Have Voluntarily Assumed Duty to Provide Aid to Imperiled Guest

Earlier this month, an appellate court in California issued a written opinion in a personal injury case involving a woman who suffered a brain aneurysm while in her room at the defendant hotel. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant hotel voluntarily assumed a duty of care to assist her but failed to provide the necessary level of assistance. The appellate court determined that the plaintiff did show sufficient evidence to raise an issue of fact that should be resolved by the jury.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff planned to stay in the defendant hotel. Before she left, she informed her husband that she would be at the hotel and told him that she would call him when she arrived. The plaintiff arrived at the hotel and checked in to her room but never called her husband.

The plaintiff’s husband called the hotel, looking for his wife. He spoke to the front desk employee and asked if she could call the room to check on the plaintiff. The front desk employee called, but there was no answer. The front desk employee then asked a maintenance worker to conduct a wellness visit to the plaintiff’s room.

The maintenance worker, who had worked for the hotel for a number of years, had never performed a wellness visit. Nor was he provided any guidance on what he should do. The worker went to the plaintiff’s room, opened the door, and noticed that the lights were off. He then turned around and went back to the front desk, explaining that the plaintiff was not in her room.

As it turns out, the plaintiff had suffered a brain aneurysm while in her room. She was discovered the following day by her husband, when he came to check on her. The plaintiff and her husband filed a personal injury lawsuit against the hotel, claiming that the maintenance worker should have discovered the plaintiff during the wellness check.

The Court’s Analysis

The court began its analysis by noting that hotels generally do not have a duty to come to the assistance of a guest who was injured while in their room. However, the court explained that, here, the maintenance worker may have voluntarily assumed a duty to essentially “rescue” the plaintiff when he agreed to perform the wellness visit. The court was not willing to say, as a matter of law, that the hotel did assume a duty, only that it may have. The court left the ultimate decision up to the jury.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Slip-and-Fall Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience handling all types of Maryland injury lawsuits, including premises liability lawsuits. We represent clients across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Finds in Tenant’s Favor in Recent Premises Liability Case Against Landlord, Maryland Accident Law Blog, January 15, 2018.

Court Considers Whether Maryland Plaintiff’s Case Against Nursing Home Had to Comply with Medical Malpractice Requirements, Maryland Accident Law Blog, February 1, 2018.

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