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Key Points to Remember

  • Hotels are not liable for every accident or loss that occurs on the premises, nor do they insure the absolute safety of every guest.
  • Hotels have a general duty to exercise “reasonable care” for the safety and security of their guests.
  • Hotels have a general duty to reasonably protect guests from harm caused by other guests or non-guests.
  • Hotels have an affirmative duty to make the premises reasonably safe for their guests. This obligation includes a two-fold duty either to correct a hazard or warn of its existence. The hotel must not only address visible hazards but must make apparent hidden dangers or hazards.
  • Hotels are not liable for harm to person or property unless “fault” can be established against the hotel.
  • Hotels may be “vicariously liable” for the negligence of their employees.
  • Hotels are generally liable for damages if they cannot honor a confirmed reservation because of “overbooking.”
  • Hotels may generally sue for damages or retain deposits if confirmed reservations are not honored by prospective guests.
  • Hotels may generally evict registered guests for a variety of well-established reasons.
  • Hotels may retain personal possessions of evicted guests as security for room charges.
  • Hotels are generally not required to have lifeguards on duty at hotel swimming pools, except by state statute. However, conspicuous “No Lifeguard” warning signs are minimally required.
  • Hotels are generally not liable for valuables that are not secured in the hotel safe, if conspicuous notice is posted.
  • Hotels are generally not liable for harm to guests caused by criminal acts of others, unless hotel fault is established.
  • Hotels may generally limit their liability for losses if conspicuous notice is given to hotel guests.

Inside Key Points to Remember