Conferences, shows, parties and hotel stays may lead to accidents. Hotels, conference centers or other hospitality venues can face lawsuits for not taking reasonable steps to protect their guests against injury.
An injured guest may file a personal injury lawsuit against a hospitality venue if it was negligent by not taking reasonable care to ensure its guests’ safety. An injured party is not required to prove that the venue knew about the unsafe condition if they can demonstrate that the venue did not exercise reasonable care to prevent the problem.
Reasonable care usually includes:
- Regular inspections of the facility, its furniture and equipment.
- Screening employee backgrounds.
- Proper supervision and training of employees.
- Having clean areas for food and beverage service and preparation.
- Adequate security measures.
- Eliminating or addressing the causes of earlier accidents.
Slip, trip and fall accidents
Slips, trips, and falls are among the most common accidents in hospitality venues. The most typical causes include:
- Poorly fastened carpet.
- Exposed electrical cords across floors.
- Wet floors caused by spills that are not cleaned up, leaking ceilings or maintenance or janitorial work.
- Objects or liquid on stairs.
- Hand railings that fail.
- Inadequate lighting.
Precautions include fixing loose floor and carpeting, quickly locating and cleaning up spills, and fixing ceiling and pipes that are leaking. During trade shows and meetings, staff should assure that wiring to speakers and other presentation devices are properly laid, secured, and covered.
Security problems usually include easy access by unauthorized individuals, broken locks, the absence of security guards, and insufficient lighting in parking lots, stairwells, or hallways. Guest consuming too much liquor may also fight or assault guests.
Adequate security precautions can help prevent crimes against guests. More door security, video cameras, better illumination and professional security personnel are measures that should be considered. Compliance with liquid laws can help assure that guests do not drink too much, and minors are not served.
Food and beverage
Venues may be held liable for food borne illnesses from food and beverages they prepare or those furnished by caterers.
Venues should hire a professionally trained chef. They need to work with local health departments to assure compliance with all regulations for food preparation and storage. There should be a designated area where food is brought in that should be clean and equipped proper food storage equipment.
Compliance with liquor laws and proper management can, in addition to prevent crime, reduce the likelihood of other injuries. These include inebriated guests tripping or causing vehicle accidents.
Attorneys can assist injured guests gather evidence. They can pursue a lawsuit if there was negligence.