Personal Injury Case Analysis: Is there a Duty to Insure the Safety of a Business Invitee on the Premises?

Booher v. Sheeram, LLC

Facts: Before April of 2004, Hampton Inn had received complaints that the bathtubs in its guest rooms were slippery.  It thus contracted with Perma Safety to coat the bathtubs with a non-skid surface which complied with industry safety standards.  Booher was a guest at Hampton Inn subsequent to the coating of the bathtubs, but she still slipped and fell in a bathtub in her guest room and sustained injuries.  Booher filed suit against Hampton Inn, claiming that it was negligent in the maintenance of the bathtub.  Hampton then filed a motion for summary judgment and the trial court than granted Hampton Inn’s motion for summary judgment.
Issue:  Did the trial court err in granting summary judgment to Hampton Inn on the issue of duty to its business invitees?

Holding:  No.  While a hotel guest is a business invitee of the hotel owner, there is no duty to insure a business invitee’s safety while on the premises.  The evidence presented in the designation of materials showed that the bathtubs were covered pursuant to regulations, and that once Hampton Inn learned of the problem, they immediately retained an expert to fix the problem.  Thus, the trial court’s granting of summary judgment for Hampton Inn was proper in this case.

This case highlights the importance of designating sufficient evidence to support your claim for personal injuries. Here, there was an underlying procedural issue. Plaintiff's counsel failed to file a motion for extension of time and as a result Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and designated materials were stricken. As a plaintiff's counsel, it is vital that all procedural issues are addressed.


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