Premises Liability

Hotel sees outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease

Texas residents may want to know the details surrounding an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia that causes its victims to have chills, fevers, severe coughing and shortness of breath. The outbreak was detected in the water system of an upscale hotel in Atlanta. At least 60 people who visited or stayed at the hotel, the Sheraton Atlanta, have become sick as a result, and one has died from the disease.

The outbreak mainly affected people who were at the hotel between June 22 and July 15. On July 15, the hotel closed down voluntarily and, after a thorough cleaning of the water systems, reopened on August 15. However, legal proceedings against the hotel are just beginning.

A 67-year-old professional photographer who became sick while photographing a conference at the Sheraton Atlanta has filed a lawsuit, naming as defendants the general manager and the companies that own and maintain the hotel. One of the lawyers representing the victim has 40 other clients who are also looking to sue the hotel.

The Legionella bacteria are naturally occurring in freshwater sources but pose a danger in man-made systems, including plumbing systems, water tanks, faucets and showerheads. The hotel’s general manager has extended sympathy toward the victims, but whether the hotel will accept responsibility or not remains to be seen.

When a case involves premises liability like the one above, it usually requires the advice and guidance of a lawyer to get off the ground. Victims may face strong opposition against their claim and might need to pursue the case in court if a settlement cannot be agreed upon. A lawyer may speak on victims’ behalf at the negotiation table and in the courtroom. A successful premises liability claim might cover losses like medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.

Wayne Newton faces lawsuit involving pet monkey attack

Back in October 2017, a pet monkey owned by Wayne Newton attacked a girl who was touring his former. Texas residents may be interested to learn about the details of the resulting premises liability case. On Aug. 7, the mother of the girl filed a lawsuit with the Nevada State Court against Newton and the company that operates the museum and the tours.

The Casa de Shenandoah, the Las Vegas estate where the incident took place, is a 40-acre mansion once owned by Newton but sold off to investors back in 2010. It’s a museum and tourist attraction with features like gardens, exotic animals and a stable housing the performer’s horses.

The mother and daughter were invited on a tour, during which the pet monkey allegedly bit the girl without anyone provoking it. While the level of injuries was not released, the plaintiff is seeking at least $15,000 in compensation. Reports say the girl was 15 years old when the incident occurred.

In a statement to the media, Newton’s wife said her family should not be connected with the incident. By July 2017 (about three months before the attack), they had already cut off all ties with the company that manages the museum and tours.

Based on the concept of premises liability, property owners can potentially be held liable for any injuries incurred on their property. Of course, several requirements must be met. There must be proof of the owner’s negligence, the victim’s reasonable conduct while on the property and a link between the act of negligence and the injury. This is why having a lawyer may be a good idea. A victim could leave all negotiations to their attorney and proceed to litigation if these fall through.

Woman sues over bottle thrown at Drake concert

Texas music fans might be interested to learn that a 24-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit over injuries she suffered at a 2016 Drake concert in New York City. Drake, Madison Square Garden, a venue employee and music promoter Live Nation are all listed as defendants in the suit.

According to the claim, the plaintiff, a resident of Staten Island, attended Drake’s concert at MSG on Aug. 8, 2016. During the event, she claims she was maliciously struck in the head with a beer bottle with no provocation. The attack left her with a traumatic brain injury that causes seizures. As a result, she is unable to attend medical school and now faces a “precarious” future.

The lawsuit blames Drake, MSG and Live Nation for overcrowding the venue, serving alcohol in “excessive amounts” and serving drinks in glass bottles rather than much safer plastic cups. It further blames the defendants for failing to provide adequate security for the event even though Drake concertgoers have a history of becoming violent. A representative of MSG responded to the suit by saying the venue is reviewing the plaintiff’s claims and that it takes patron safety seriously.

Live event venues are legally required to maintain a safe environment for guests. If this requirement is not met, an injured victim has the right to pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit. Legal counsel could recommend suitable remedies for an injured concertgoer. One possibility could be to file a premises liability claim against the promoter or venue that seeks compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental suffering and more.

Lawsuit – theme parks should post warnings signs in Spanish

In order to prevent injuries and deaths, theme parks in Texas and elsewhere are expected to post warning signs regarding a ride’s potential risks. However, a lawsuit filed in Florida alleges that such signs should be posted in multiple languages to accommodate international visitors.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed by a Guatemalan family, a 38-year-old father suffered a fatal heart attack after riding Universal Studio’s Orlando Resort’s “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” attraction in 2017. The victim, who spoke Spanish, had a history of heart problems but could not read English-language signs warning visitors with cardiac issues to avoid the ride. After going on the ride, which advertises “sudden” and “dramatic” movements, the victim said he didn’t feel well. Thinking he simply had an upset stomach, his wife left him resting on a bench while she took their son on another ride. However, he collapsed while they were gone and later died at a local hospital.

The lawsuit states that Universal is “aware of the great number” of international tourists that frequent their property each year. Because of this, the family’s lawyer argues that it is “not unreasonable” for the park to post warning signs in English, Spanish and French, which are the three most widely spoken languages in North America. In addition to English and Spanish, Universal Orlando Resort’s official blog offers a Portuguese translation. In 2017, metro Orlando was the most visited destination in the United States, attracting 72 million tourists. Of those, around 6.1 million visited from outside the U.S.

People who have been harmed while on an amusement park ride may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner if it can be determined that the attraction was hazardous. An attorney could review the case and outline all legal remedies available.

Source: Claims Journal, “Lawsuit Says Florida Theme Park Should Put Warning Signs in Spanish“, Mike Schneider, Jan. 2, 2019

Man seeks compensation after slip-and-fall injury

A Texas man who slipped and fell while attending an event at the University of Houston is pursuing legal action for his damages. He is suing a number of companies involved with maintaining the Cullen Performance Hall at the university, including ACS Flooring Group, ACS Maintenance Solutions, Aramark Solutions and Aramark Confection Corp. The man said that he was injured two years before on October 31, 2016, when he fell after slipping on a substance in the performance hall’s lobby. He says that the companies involved were performing maintenance and renovations in the area when the incident occurred.

In the lawsuit, the man said that the substance he slipped on appeared to be floor stripper being used by the companies as part of maintenance work. He also said that despite the work being done, the companies did not post any signs or put up any barricades directing pedestrians away from the area, which are actions that could have prevented the slip-and-fall accident. He is seeking unspecified monetary damages as well as a jury trial on the claim.

Even seemingly minor incidents can lead to a host of long-term health problems. People can sustain serious head injuries if get a concussion after slipping and falling. Individuals also may break bones or have severe joint injuries and pain after a slip-and-fall. They may find themselves undergoing years of medical care and treatment after this kind of incident.

Commercial properties and businesses have a responsibility to take action when they know or should know that there are dangerous areas on their property. When people are hurt due to an establishment’s negligence, they can take action to seek compensation for premises liability. A personal injury lawyer can help people injured on someone else’s property pursue compensation for their lost wages, medical bills and other damages.

Source: SE Texas Record, “Slip and fall at university performance hall causes man to sustain injuries, file suit,” John Suayan, October 4, 2018