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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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    Potential Hazards to Be Aware of When Staying at Florida Hotels and Resorts

    Florida’s leading industry is tourism.  There are nearly half a million hotel rooms in the Sunshine State … waiting for visitors from all over.

    When staying at a hotel or resort, most guests are focused on relaxing and recharging for their vacation or business trip. In an environment designed to feel comfortable and inviting, potential hazards to health and safety are typically far from guests’ minds. Unfortunately, however, it is common for injuries ranging from minor mishaps to life-threatening events to occur at hotels and resorts—often due to negligence on behalf of the property owners or managers.

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    If you are staying at a hotel or resort in Florida or elsewhere, here are a few of the most common hazards to be aware of:

    • Slippery, wet or sandy floors. With many Florida hotels having pools, spas, and/or beach access, water, sand, and other debris may be tracked into the walkways. While hotel employees are generally responsible for keeping these walkways clean or at least warning of potential hazards, they may not have a chance to attend to a spill before it creates a risk for guests. In fact, slip-and-fall incidents are among the most common reasons for personal injury lawsuits filed by guests against hotels and resorts in Florida. Sometimes areas become wet from frequent rains.  When the surface becomes slippery and guests are not warned, or the resort does not take reasonable steps to make the surface non-skid, they may be responsible for injuries.
    • Scalding water. Most hotel guests give little thought to the water that comes out of the sink and shower in their rooms—yet one major study found that nearly 90% of hotel rooms across the U.S. have fixtures that deliver water at scalding temperatures. Hotel hot tubs are another place where water at hazardously high temperatures may be encountered; as a result, guests should exercise caution when entering hot tubs or turning on the taps in their rooms.
    • Violent crime. This is one of the most serious hazards facing visitors at any hotel or resort.  Tourists are known to be unfamiliar with the local areas, and are much easier targets for criminals, whether for robbery or sexual assault. Whether perpetrated by other guests or third-party criminals who make their way onto the property, hotels are prime targets for violent crime, including robbery, assault, battery, and even homicide. To help prevent these acts, hotels have a legal duty to implement reasonable security measures, such as adequate lighting in parking lots and walkways, locking mechanisms on the doors and windows of rooms, and security guards when appropriate. If criminal acts are reasonably foreseeable, hotels and resorts may be held liable for negligent security.
    • Loose furniture. One unexpected hazard that may be lurking in your hotel room comes from furniture items, such as bureaus, bedside tables, or TVs, that are improperly secured and at risk of falling down. Loose furniture could cause serious injury—especially to children—so check your room upon arrival and ask the hotel staff to remove or secure any items that seem rickety.

    These are just a few of the common hazards that could potentially injure guests at hotels and resorts. If you have been injured while staying at a hotel in Florida, one of the first steps you should consider is speaking with a personal injury attorney. At Leighton Law, our team has extensive experience with “resort torts,” which involve negligent or criminal acts that occur in a resort, vacation, or recreational setting. Call us today at 888.988.1774 to schedule a consultation!

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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