Liability in a lawsuit regarding falls in slippery bathtubs can be avoided but you must pay close attention to the safety equipment in your hotel showers.
If a guest loses his balance a takes a fall while showering, they are very likely to sustain sustainable injuries due to the solid, hard surroundings. In this situation, fault could lie on either you or the guest. Guests will most likely be aware that tubs and showers are slippery by nature, and therefore potentially dangerous. However, while this is common knowledge, it is still the responsibility of the hotelier to take steps to prevent any mishaps from occurring. This includes installation and maintenance of non-skid strips on the tub or shower floor, a bathmat, handrails along the walls of the tub for gripping and/or devices designed to reduce the dangers. Failure to do so can put guests in danger of falling, which can result in lawsuit.
As an example, in recent news a guest at a Radisson hotel in Bismarck, N.D., slipped and fell out of a shower that did not have non-skid strips, a bathmat or handrail. The guest sued and the hotel pursued early dismissal with claims that it did not need to provide the referenced devices. The hotel claimed that the risk of falling in the shower is obvious, and the guest is therefore responsible. The hotel lost the case with the court refusing to hold that an inn has no duty to provide mechanisms to reduce the dangers of wet floors. Instead, either the hotel will have to settle the case by paying damages, or a trial will be held and a jury will decide if the hotel fulfilled its duty to maintain the property in a safe condition.
In the second case, a guest at the Governor’s Inn in Sevierville, Tenn., fell while getting out of a recessed bathtub and suffered serious injuries to her right hip. Like the previous case, the Governor’s Inn had nothing in place to prevent falls. The Inn also sought early dismissal of the case, arguing that it did not need to have slip-resistant devices in place. The outcome was the same. The Inn lost the argument and the court sent the case to settlement or trial.
Keep in mind that not all states follow the rule that is applied in these two cases. Rather, some states feel that hoteliers owe no duty to use mechanisms to reduce the risk of slipping in showers. Even so, hotels should always ensure the safety of their guests, so it is recommended to take safety measures to prevent injuries in the bathtub. For more advice and information that can benefit your hotel, visit the Best Western MarketPlace Blog and explore the wide array of topics available to you.