Visitor Question

Glass shards on hotel floor and slipped on menu causing a broken ankle?

Submitted By: Hayley (Van Nuys, California)

My husband and I had two accidents at a hotel. One was the first hour we checked into our room. We were just about to put our baby down to play on the floor with a thin blanket when I cut my foot on a piece of glass. Then I found four more pieces all embedded in the carpet all around the bed.

I stopped the bleeding and moved on because I was very late to a wedding function and was in the party. I filed a quick claim with security and showed them the glass pieces as proof. They moved our room immediately and apologized.

Then the next night my husband slipped on a menu laying on the ground in a carpeted area where the wedding had been and was over. The cleaning crew let him in to grab something. He now has a broken ankle. Do we have a case or two? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Hayley,

Let’s take a look at the issues involved:

1) Lacerations to your foot

For a hotel owner to become legally responsible for injuries to hotel guests there must be a showing of negligence. Negligence is the same as saying the hotel breached its duty of care to take reasonable actions to protect you, your husband, and child from harm. This duty includes promptly repairing or eliminating conditions which may endanger or harm its guests.

Based on the facts you present, it is clear the hotel ownership was negligent in failing to discover and remove the glass from your hotel room floor. It is arguable discovering the glass should have been part of the hotel cleaning crew’s duties.

Fortunately, the lacerations were minor and didn’t not require emergency medical care. Inasmuch as your injuries did not require medical care, the hotel ownership has no need to pay any amount.

It could be argued the hotel should compensate you for your pain and suffering. However, if they don’t volunteer such compensation, the only way you could expect to seek it would be through filing a lawsuit. That just isn’t economically feasible without proving medical damages.

2) Fracture of your husband’s ankle

The same duty of care applies to your husband. If it can be shown the hotel was negligent, then the hotel ownership would be liable for your husband’s medical bills and related costs, also referred to as “Damages.”

However, based on the facts, it can be reasonably argued the menu dropped on the floor did not constitute negligence. A wedding reception had recently occurred. As anyone who has been to a wedding reception can attest, at the end of the reception there can be found on the floor, spilled drinks, linen napkins, and menus.

Unless your husband can show the hotel employees knew the menu was on the floor and failed to remove it, your husband would not likely have the basis of a strong personal injury claim. It can also be argued your husband should have seen the menu and avoided stepping on it.

Learn more here: Injuries at Hotels and Resorts

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

Best of luck with your claim.

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