Neglected Furniture Maintenance in Hotel Leads to Severe Injury

This case study delves into a premises liability incident where a hotel guest suffered severe injuries due to a poorly maintained bed frame.

ByZach Barreto

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Published on February 12, 2024

Hotel room

Case Overview

This case study delves into a premises liability issue involving an individual who suffered severe injuries due to a poorly maintained bed frame in a hotel room. The plaintiff, during their stay at the hotel, inadvertently came into contact with the corner of the bed frame. The protective plastic that should have been covering the corner of the bed frame was reportedly worn away, revealing a sharp and jagged edge. This exposed edge managed to cut through three layers of clothing, inflicting a significant laceration on the plaintiff's left lower leg.

The injury led to an extended hospital stay, complications with their circulatory system, and extensive treatment for continuous wound infections over approximately eight months. Currently, the plaintiff is required to keep their leg elevated for most of the day and cannot stand for prolonged periods. An expert in premises liability was sought to review this case and provide insights on liability.

Questions to the Hospitality expert and their responses

Q1

Can you describe your experience in premises liability, particularly as it relates to hotel and hospitality standards?

I possess comprehensive knowledge and experience in hotel real estate design, construction, and operations from various perspectives including property owner, brand, and operator. I've set standards for ongoing maintenance and operation of hotels.

My expertise also extends to overseeing planning and design professionals during new construction, redevelopments, and renovations at the corporate/portfolio level.

Q2

What industry safety standards exist to ensure all furniture is safe for hotel guest use?

Public standards for consumer safety often dictate design standards for furniture pieces. The responsibility of meeting these standards typically falls on the company manufacturing the furniture or fixture, as outlined in their specific installation instructions.

Both the Hotel Brand and individual property owners oversee the selection of specific furniture pieces and their installation during the design and development process. The ongoing maintenance of these safety measures is typically addressed through the hotel operator’s Housekeeping and Maintenance Management Systems.

Q3

Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, can you elaborate?

Yes, I have reviewed many cases involving safety and maintenance standards. This case primarily involves housekeeping and guestroom maintenance policies, particularly regarding the responsibility to identify and correct safety hazards.

About the expert

This expert boasts over three decades of experience in hospitality and resort facilities management, with a strong educational background including a BS in Hotel Administration and an MBA in Finance. They have held numerous leadership roles in prominent hotel corporations, overseeing engineering, planning, construction, and facilities management. Currently serving as the principal consultant at a hospitality consulting firm, they specialize in creating and sustaining the long-term value of hospitality real estate assets.

Expert headshot

E-183267

Specialties:

About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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