Cut my foot on metal sticking out of the hotel bed frame...

by Nicole
(Cary, NC)

On Friday, the 15th of April, at approximately 10:50pm I was getting out of bed and cut my foot on a metal piece that was sticking out of the middle section of the bed. I called down to the front desk for assistance, and I asked for them to send someone to help me.

Thirty minutes later, a worker showed up with a dirty plunger in a plastic bag. I showed him the metal piece and he said that he was sure this had been reported to management previously, and that he would let them know again. Nobody came to repair the bed or move me to another room.

The next morning I went down to the desk and spoke with the general manager who claimed he knew nothing about the incident. I convinced him to give me the previous night free and to change my room.

I then went to the urgent care for several hours and my cut did not require stitches, but the doctor gave me a prescription for antibiotics since I have lupus and the metal piece viewed by my picture on my phone looked rusty. I am current on my tetanus shots so I did not have to get one.

I took a the discharge papers back to the hotel manager and he made a copy. I asked him for a copy of the hotel incident report and he said he could not give it to me, it is for internal use only. I then asked to fill out an injury or complaint form and he told me that they did not have any.

I then went to the new room they gave me only to discover that one of the beds in there also had the same metal piece sticking out from under it. I immediately went down to the front desk and reported it, and they sent a worker up to fix it.

On a side note: I asked for housekeeping to come and clean the new room because the carpet was dirty. The supervisor of housekeeping came up to vacuum and in conversation he told me that his workers complain about the metal pieces sticking out also, that they trip over them and sometimes hurt themselves.

The supervisor said he doesn't know why they don't just take all the beds down and put them together right. The supervisor also told me that he was going to let management know that the room they had me in should not be rented out until it is cleaned thoroughly and updated.

My question is: Can I sue this hotel for foreseeable harm, since they knew about this metal piece> Even though I did not require stitches, my foot is still sore and I cannot wear shoes over it. Is there anything else that can be done to make this place safe? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Cut my foot on metal sticking out of the hotel bed frame...":

Nicole (Cary, NC):

Fortunately you weren't more seriously hurt, and your Lupus wasn't aggravated by the injury.

Hotels and other business which cater to the public are bound under the legal doctrine of Premises Liability. This is the liability businesses incur when, as a result of their negligence, a person who is legally upon the property is unduly harmed.

As a hotel guest, you are classified as an "invitee." An invitee is person who is invited to enter or remain on the premises for a commercial benefit to the premises owner.

An invitation may be either express or implied. In your case, the invitation was express. Express can mean the hotel advertises to the public, there is signage in front of the hotel showing vacancies, or the hotel in some other manner makes clear to the public they are invited to rent a room.

The hotel owner has an ordinary duty of care to protect an invitee (you) from risks of undue harm and injury. This is true when:

- There exists a condition which may unduly harm or injury an invitee

- The premises owner or the owner's agent knows, or should know in exercise of ordinary care about the condition

- The condition poses an unreasonable risk of harm or injury to the invitee

In your case, the hotel owner, or it's agent (manager) knew about the unreasonable risk, or should have known about the unreasonable risk, and failed to take appropriate action to remedy or eliminate that risk. As a result you were injured.

Under the circumstances, you should be entitled to reimbursement for your medical bills, your out of pocket expenses (for medications, bandages, etc.), lost wages (if you had to miss work because of the injury), and a small amount for your pain and suffering.

Whether or not the hotel owner will agree to reimburse you for such items is questionable. In the event the hotel owner refuses to reimburse you for the above damages, you can consider suing the hotel in small claims court. For more information about filing a lawsuit in one of North Carolina’s Small Claims Courts go to:
North Carolina Court System

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
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