Slip and Fall in Themed Hotel Room Results in Ankle Injury

This case study explores a premises liability incident in a themed hotel room where an individual slipped on a curved staircase while exiting a hot tub, resulting in an ankle injury.

ByZach Barreto


Published on February 6, 2024

Jacuzzi in hotel room

Case Overview

This case study examines an incident involving a guest who sustained injuries after slipping on a curved staircase while exiting a hot tub in a themed hotel room. The hotel, renowned for its unique room themes, had designed each space to reflect different concepts.

This particular incident occurred in a Halloween-themed room, equipped with various props such as a drawbridge, catwalk, and coffins. The plaintiff's ankle injury led to the involvement of an expert in premises liability to review the case and comment on industry standards.

Questions to the Premises Liability expert and their responses


Can you briefly describe your experience in premises liability as it relates to the hotel and hospitality industry?

With over 40 years of experience managing hotels, I have extensive knowledge about premises liability within the hospitality sector. My professional training includes programs from esteemed institutions like the Institute of Real Estate Management, the Building Owners and Management Association, and the CAI.


Are there any additional safety measures that must be taken to account for possible dangers things like a spiral staircase and hot tub might present?

Yes, indeed. Any stairs used to exit a hot tub should be sturdy, safe, and slip-resistant. A spiral staircase on a hot tub is unheard of in my experience. According to the Accident Prevention Manual for Business & Industry 10th Edition by NCS, there's a three-step procedure for accident prevention - eliminate potential hazards, guard against them, and warn users about them.

If the hotel had conducted proper risk assessment or inspection, they would have eliminated the use of a spiral staircase. It's crucial for hotel managers to ensure safe environments under all circumstances. For instance, guests celebrating in that room may consume alcohol; hence proper lighting and access are critical.


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

While I've encountered numerous cases involving premises liability, this particular scenario involving a spiral staircase on a hot tub is unique. However, the principles of safety and risk assessment remain consistent across all situations.

About the expert

This expert boasts over 40 years of experience in property management, with a rich history of leadership roles in various esteemed organizations. Their extensive career includes serving as the general manager, director of operations, and vice president of property management services at several prominent hotels and management corporations. Currently, they leverage their vast expertise as a property management consultant at an independent firm and manage a residential property, further solidifying their relevance to this premises liability case study.

Expert headshot



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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