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Author Topic: Does client have a case?  (Read 1263 times)

FortheDefense

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Does client have a case?
« on: May 17, 2009, 02:40:45 PM »
Hope this is ok for this board as I searched for general discussion. I was asked this question and stated I'd put it out for replies...

Gentleman wakes up in the morning and commences drinking (7:00 AM). At 9 AM he calls friend who picks him up and they go out driving and he continues to indulge. They arrive at a resort (to be left nameless, a very plush and well known resort btw) and as an unregistered guest makes his way to the pool bar for guests only. He then drinks for another 30 minutes and goes to the smoking area which is by the ocean on a 20 foot cliff with no fence. Somehow he loses balances and falls bouncing off rocks and into the ocean. He is brought to shore by a surfer and is treated for cuts by a local ambulance but refuses to go to the hospital. He then gets a ride home where he finally calls an ambulance and goes to the hospital and has his injuries treated.No broken bones but monster scrapes and coral scratches. Hospital loads him up with demoral fentanyl and toradol and releases him to a local cab company with a diagnosis of acute alcohol intoxication. Is the hotel liable for the injuries suffered from the fall??
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vercingetorix

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Re: Does client have a case?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2009, 03:15:43 PM »
ummmmmm.....it depends?

vap

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Re: Does client have a case?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2009, 03:43:30 PM »
The answer is "it depends."  The injured party should consult a lawyer.

At a minimum, the following issues will arise:

1.  Is the injured party an invitee, licensee, or trespasser?  Most likely the guest is an invitee, and thus the hotel owed the injured party a reasonable duty of care.

2.  Is it unreasonable to have a smoking area near a bar with a 20-foot drop and no fence (and presumably no railing)?  It is probably unreasonable to do so. (Also might want to check building codes to see if the resort owner was negligent per se).

3.  Was the injured party comparatively or contributorily negligent?  If so, depending on lex loci, the resort's liability might be limited.

FortheDefense

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Re: Does client have a case?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2009, 04:24:07 PM »
The answer is "it depends."  The injured party should consult a lawyer.

At a minimum, the following issues will arise:

1.  Is the injured party an invitee, licensee, or trespasser?  Most likely the guest is an invitee, and thus the hotel owed the injured party a reasonable duty of care.

2.  Is it unreasonable to have a smoking area near a bar with a 20-foot drop and no fence (and presumably no railing)?  It is probably unreasonable to do so. (Also might want to check building codes to see if the resort owner was negligent per se).

3.  Was the injured party comparatively or contributorily negligent?  If so, depending on lex loci, the resort's liability might be limited.

No injured was a unregistered bar patron. He was not staying there....
"I could have gotten a conviction on Simpson's police statement alone!"
Vincent B
"If you dont police the police then who does? YOU police the police by your verdict, so stand up and show some integrity"
Johnny C

The Trial of the Century

vap

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Re: Does client have a case?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2009, 04:45:03 PM »
The answer is "it depends."  The injured party should consult a lawyer.

At a minimum, the following issues will arise:

1.  Is the injured party an invitee, licensee, or trespasser?  Most likely the guest is an invitee, and thus the hotel owed the injured party a reasonable duty of care.

2.  Is it unreasonable to have a smoking area near a bar with a 20-foot drop and no fence (and presumably no railing)?  It is probably unreasonable to do so. (Also might want to check building codes to see if the resort owner was negligent per se).

3.  Was the injured party comparatively or contributorily negligent?  If so, depending on lex loci, the resort's liability might be limited.

No injured was a unregistered bar patron. He was not staying there....

conducting no research, i would still think an unregistered bar patron is an invitee.

Ninja1

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Re: Does client have a case?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2009, 08:18:54 PM »
I'd call him a trespasser based on the fact he was in a members only area. Additionally, I'd say his day of drinking may well mitigate the hotel's responsibility and damages, if any is there, based on contributory negligence.

It would probably be worth his time to try to get a settlement out of the hotel, but I wouldn't bother bringing the case.
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JeNeSaisLaw

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Re: Does client have a case?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 10:05:12 PM »
Just a few notes. Many Jx have gotten rid of contributory negligence (though you may have meant comparative fault). Not all Jx recognize differences in duties owed based on your status (trespasser, invitee, licensee).
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vap

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Re: Does client have a case?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2009, 11:28:00 PM »
Just a few notes. Many Jx have gotten rid of contributory negligence (though you may have meant comparative fault). Not all Jx recognize differences in duties owed based on your status (trespasser, invitee, licensee).

Correct.

I'd call him a trespasser based on the fact he was in a members only area. Additionally, I'd say his day of drinking may well mitigate the hotel's responsibility and damages, if any is there, based on contributory negligence.

It would probably be worth his time to try to get a settlement out of the hotel, but I wouldn't bother bringing the case.

Eh, I think there's not enough info to classify as trespasser or invitee.  Definitely need more facts.  From what I remember, if the trespasser is known to the D, then the D owes RPP standard of care.  Certainly the injured here was known to D (he bought drinks and conferred an economic benefit to the D).  I think even though he was not there with explicit permission, the selling of a drink would make him an invitee.  But even if a trespasser, he was known, and thus he was owed a RPP standard of care.

Ninja1

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Re: Does client have a case?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2009, 02:35:40 AM »
Just a few notes. Many Jx have gotten rid of contributory negligence (though you may have meant comparative fault). Not all Jx recognize differences in duties owed based on your status (trespasser, invitee, licensee).

Correct.

I'd call him a trespasser based on the fact he was in a members only area. Additionally, I'd say his day of drinking may well mitigate the hotel's responsibility and damages, if any is there, based on contributory negligence.

It would probably be worth his time to try to get a settlement out of the hotel, but I wouldn't bother bringing the case.

Eh, I think there's not enough info to classify as trespasser or invitee.  Definitely need more facts.  From what I remember, if the trespasser is known to the D, then the D owes RPP standard of care.  Certainly the injured here was known to D (he bought drinks and conferred an economic benefit to the D).  I think even though he was not there with explicit permission, the selling of a drink would make him an invitee.  But even if a trespasser, he was known, and thus he was owed a RPP standard of care.

Fair enough.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.