Is the hotel liable for my son's injury?

by Jeff

This injury incident happened 11/29/2014 at major national chain hotel in San Diego. My 10yr old son was asleep and rolled out of bed. His left eyelid struck the sharp edge of a night stand as he was falling to the floor. The edges on this nightstand are really sharp. An open wound on the left eyelid was a result of the injury.

Hotel security showed up and tried to treat the wound. One of them tried to apply antibacterial ointment to the open area of the wound, but I stopped him because his medical glove was not sterile.

They asked where we wanted to take my son for treatment in the city. I told them we have Kaiser insurance. I then remembered that we would have to pay a $50 co-payment. So I asked if the hotel would cover that cost. They gave me an agency to call and a doctor showed up at our room. He told us my son's wound would require sutures.

After the procedure, he asked for our Kaiser card and credit card, which I thought was strange. The doctor's fees where about $900. After the doctor left, I spoke to the security supervisor to get a written confirmation that the hotel would cover the cost, or at least some of the cost that Kaiser would not cover.

The supervisor told me that the hotel would only cover the initial visit and the examination, but not the treatment. I was worried that Kaiser wouldn't pay the rest. I told the supervisor I had assumed that the hotel would pay for all of the doctor's fees. The supervisor said no. So I asked him if he would put that in writing.

He had me talk to a hotel manager and she said they would not pay for any of the costs and they were not liable for the injury. I asked her if she would put that in writing. She spoke to her supervisor in a backroom, came back, and said the hotel would only pay for the initial doctor's visit.

Again, I asked her to put that in writing. But what she was only willing to write was that someone would call me on Monday, regarding the doctor's fees. I got a call on Monday 12/1/2014 from Sedgwick Claims Management Solutions. They told me Hilton was not liable and that my Kaiser insurance should cover the costs.

Is this true? Does the hotel have any liability? What are my options? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Is the hotel liable for my son's injury?":

Jeff (California):

It's doubtful the hotel is liable. Your son's unfortunate fall was not caused by the hotel's negligence. From the facts you present your implication is the hotel should be liable because the corners of the night table were too sharp.

You have already been informed by the hotel and its insurance company they will not pay the claim. If you intend to pursue the case you will need to file a lawsuit yourself, or retain an attorney. If your attorney is able to prove to a jury the edges of the night table were inherently dangerous, then you may win your case. If the jury decides otherwise, you won't.

You should also consider a defective product claim against the manufacture of the night tables. If you are able to prove the night tables were designed and/or manufactured negligently, you may prevail in a case against the manufacturer.

Visit with several personal injury attorneys. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation. Moreover, if you can find an attorney to accept your case, you will not have to pay any fees until and unless your attorney settles the claim or wins in court.

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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