Handicapped Guest Sustains Serious Injuries After Falling In Hotel Shower

    Hotel Safety Expert Witness

    This case involves a legally blind woman who fell in a hotel shower. Before her stay, the guest requested accommodations with a handicap bathroom. Upon arriving at the hotel, the guest was informed that the hotel staff never received her request and she was given a room with a non-handicap bathroom. As part of hotel policy, the front desk staff is also required to inform guests that bath mats are available upon request, but this information was not relayed to the blind guest. Less than an hour later, the guest fell and broke her hip while in the shower.  An expert in hotel management and operations was sought to opine on the hotel’s responsibility to ensure the safety of their guests.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. What are some measures that need to be taken to mitigate the risk of guests slipping in hotel bathrooms?
    • 2. What measures should be taken to accommodate guests with special needs, such as blindness, and what measures should be taken to notify them of available accommodations?

    Expert Witness Response E-133250

    I wrote my master’s thesis on hotel accident prevention policies and protocols. In general, it is standard for most major hotel brands to replace or resurface bathtubs every 7-10 years. Some measures that can be taken in order to mitigate the risk of guests slipping in hotel bathrooms include implementing friction strips, slip-resistant mats or additional bath mats, installing guardrails or shower bars, installing better draining in the shower, and providing shower seats in all ADA rooms. Most properties should undergo sensitivity and accommodations training to properly assist guests with special needs. When the guest was booking the reservation, the team should have provided an explanation of available accommodations. In addition, ADA rooms are to be pre-assigned almost immediately upon booking so that if the request cannot be met, the guest can be notified. Finally, upon arrival, the front desk should have offered a proper resolution of the matter and made proper safety arrangements with the appropriate departments, namely housekeeping, and engineering.

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