An upscale hotel in Snowmass Village is the defendant in a premises liability lawsuit after a hotel guest mistakenly drank from a glass of bleach water. The hotel does not argue that the incident happened, but they do not believe it created a “dangerous situation” under Colorado law.
In February 2011, a server at the hotel’s restaurant accidentally served a customer water from a pitcher being cleaned with bleach. The guest immediately noticed the chemical taste and went to throw up. A few days later, a medical examination showed a small burn in her throat.
The plaintiff claims she suffers from acid reflux as a result of the accident, spending $800 a year on treatments. She and her husband are suing the owner of Base Village, the hotel’s owner and Viceroy operator KHM Snowmass for violating Colorado’s premises liability laws.
Do I Have a Premises Liability Case?
For premises liability laws to apply, the case must meet three main conditions:
- The defendant legally owns the establishment or “premises.”
- The plaintiff must be invited or otherwise welcome: the law usually does not protect trespassers.
- There must be negligence in the act, meaning the defendant violated their ”duty of care” to provide a safe environment for the plaintiff.
The victim and her husband are seeking a summary judgment before the case heads to trial, arguing that the incident alone supports their claims without any further proof. In their opinion, the hotel admitted liability as soon as they acknowledged the event.
The hotel is fighting back by claiming that the presence of bleach alone does not create a “dangerous situation.” Their attorneys argue that a number of products use bleach, like teeth whitener and pool water, and they are relatively safe to consume.
The hotel is also contesting the woman’s claims about acid reflux. A professor of medicine in gastroenterology testified that long-term consequences would be “atypical” for the amount of bleach the plaintiff ingested.
Even if tooth whitener and pool water are safe to ingest in small amounts, giving anyone a full glass to drink would still be dangerous. The consequences were minimal, but the hotel still endangered the guest’s health by placing a harsh chemical anywhere near her food and drink.
Hotels and other corporations are not above courtroom trickery to avoid liability. After an accident, they will try to prove that the situation was not inherently dangerous, or claim the victim was responsible for their own injuries.
I Need an Attorney for My Premises Liability Case
An experienced attorney can help victims fight back against deceitful businesses. If you have been injured due to negligence, discuss your case with Tom Metier or any of the other licensed attorneys at Metier Law Firm. We have defended personal injury victims for more than 30 years, and our knowledge could make a huge difference in your case.
[Did You Know: Ingesting bleach can cause severe esophageal damage and corrosive injury to the stomach.]
Metier Law Firm, LLC – Injury Attorneys Serving Clients Nationwide