Lecture 6 – Negligence, Product Liability and Hospitality Practices
Claims against hospitality facilities.
Duty of reasonable care to inspect facilities, discover and correct dangerous conditions.
Train personnel to operate facilities’ equipment safely and to recognize and fix or
report all problems.
Duties to protect safety of employees will be considered within the later section on
Duties to paying guests, invitees of guests, business invitees, casual visitors and
Areas of concern: lobbies, guest rooms, meeting rooms, restaurants, bars,
restrooms, exercise rooms, hallways, elevators, stairways, pool & recreational
areas, outside spaces.
Particular care is required for special situations such as security, medical services, fires,
storms, failure of electrical service and other emergencies.
Defective furniture, appliances, electrical, plumbing.
Injuries from collapse, flooding, electrical shorts.
Heavy guests are entitled to furniture sufficient to support their weight.
Res ipsa loquitur.
If control of item is in hands of facility operator, which is in best
position to properly maintain and ensure that it is in proper operation, then failure
of that item is presumed to be due to negligence of operator.
Examples: chair collapse, pool drain cover off, shock from coffee machine,
Guest is not expected to do product testing of facilities.
Facility operator has duty to
continuously inspect for safety of its facilities, furnishings and equipment.
Animals and insects.
Facility operator has nondelegable duty to make reasonable efforts
to keep premises free of rodents, insects, including regular exterminator service,
Special duty for bedbugs.
Copeland v. The Lodge Enterprise, Inc.
Motel operator had regular extermination service for insects. Guest claims she was bitten
by brown recluse spider while staying in her room, causing sever, permanent and
Motel manager says pest spraying was done regularly (showed invoices for relevant
time); she was trained in motel management; she sometimes watched pest control
spraying; fired previous pest control service for poor performance, but no