Attack in Hotel Parking Lot Results in $1.7 Million Dollar Verdict
In 2008, a gentleman was shot while parking his car at an Embassy Suites Hotel in Florida. The victim was instructed to park his car in a dimly lit area of the parking lot even though it was 50 to 60 feet from the hotel entrance. Although a critical flood light had been installed to illuminate the area where the victim parked his car, it was not working on the night of the shooting despite the fact that the Assistant Hotel General Manager testified at trial contra to evidence that all the lights were working and the parking lot was “perfect”. It is important to note that a similar strong armed robbery had occurred in the same parking lot ten days earlier.
During the trial, evidence was introduced indicating that a security guard on the premises was delivering “bell carts” and responding to “guest requests” 25 minutes prior to the shooting rather than providing security of any kind. Evidence revealed that the security guard spent more time responding to guest requests for bell carts, towels, and bed items than providing security and controlling the exterior of the hotel on the evening of the shooting.
Unbelievably, the contract between the security company and the hotel chain called for the security guard to also provide housekeeping and engineering services claiming it was “industry standard”. Obviously, as a hotel attack and negligent security attorney, I question this standard and if that standard remains, it needs to be changed. Such a standard reflects nothing more than hotel owners and operators trying to squeeze the last penny out of every dollar spent in hotel operations and sometimes this is not a wise decision. When it comes to security, safety should never be sacrificed.
As an experienced inadequate security lawyer who has successfully prosecuted negligent security claims for over 30 years, one thing is for certain, the safety and privacy of hotel, motel, resort, and cruise ship guests should be the top priority of owners and operators. However, this is simply not the case.
We regularly learn of attacks in hotel poorly lit hallways, parking lots, and nooks and crannies, and many times, an easily avoidable tragedy has occurred.
As a hotel guest, you have every right to expect the hotel will take all steps to ensure your safety and guests deserve better than having security guards tend to housekeeping chores.
The experienced hotel attack attorneys of Reiff & Bily are committed to consumer and guest safety. We always offer a free, no obligation consultation to those who are victims of security breaches. We can be reached toll free 24 hours a day at (800) 421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.