Is a hotel responsible for an assault that occurs on its premises? Typically, unless it’s a hotel employee who committed the assault, one would probably think the answer is no. However, a Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyer would advise guests that there are circumstances in which a hotel may be liable if it could have foreseen a danger to guests and failed to properly warn them or take sufficient remedial action.
Recently the wife of a Philadelphia builder who was attacked by prostitutes at a Florida hotel has filed suit against that hotel, in part on the theory of premises liability. The suit claims that the assailants mistakenly believed the victim was a competing prostitute trespassing on their territory. Further, the hotel did nothing to restrain the attacker or attackers until police could arrive, and in fact helped them get away. The suit also alleges that the hotel knew that prostitutes frequented its premises and failed to provide adequate security to protect guests.
When a hotel’s management or any other property owner fails to keep its premises in reasonably safe conditions, they can be held liable for any injuries that occur on their property. While generally crimes are not foreseeable events, if a hotel, shopping mall, theater or other similar property had knowledge that criminal activity was occurring on their premises and took no action to discourage the activity or protect guests, then the property owner can be liable for injuries suffered by innocent victims.
Many individuals lacking the benefit of a Camden County premises liability lawyer or other experienced legal counsel may not be aware that property owners owe them such a duty of care, and that they may be able to seek compensation for any injuries suffered due to the property owner’s negligence. The claim also may not need to be filed where the injury occurred. In this case, the wife of a prominent Philadelphia businessman was able to file a claim in New Jersey, where the couple lived, even though the injury itself occurred in Florida.
Source: ABC News, “NJ Woman Claims She Was Attacked by Prostitutes at Florida Hotel,” Christina Ng, June 5, 2013