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$8.5 Million Settlement from Hotel Elevator Shaft Fall

Resort Torts logo FINAL.jpgA man has accepted an $8.5 million settlement for severe injuries resulting from falling down a hotel elevator shaft. According to a press release, Gary Meade was in the elevator of New York’s On The Ave hotel when it stopped between the 2nd and 3rd floors. Hotel staff pried open the doors and encouraged the people inside to jump out. When jumping, Meade slipped and fell down the shaft, landing on a steel buffer in the elevator pit, causing a gash in his groin area and injuries to his venous and lymphatic system. He underwent five surgeries and 12 hospitalizations to manage the injuries and subsequent infections.

Meade sued the hotel owner, citing negligence on the part of the hotel and its employees, who encouraged him to jump rather than calling emergency services to perform the evacuation, for failing to provide him with a ladder, and failing to secure the shaftway. Meade now suffers from permanent disfigurement and scarring, constant pain, psychological injury including post traumatic stress disorder, numbness in his left leg and foot and must elevate his left leg at all times to manage the resulting Lymphedema.

ResortTorts are cases of civil liability for negligent or criminal acts that arise out of a resort, vacation or recreational setting. Hazards can include premises liability such as trip and falls, violent crime/negligent security, defective premises design or layout, defective products, transportation negligence (plane crashes, car crashes, boating mishaps), medical malpractice provided by an innkeeper or cruise ship and many other types of dangers.

ResortTorts can encompass a vast array of types of cases but they all have one thing in common: tourists, business travelers and locals alike are all exposed to risk while traveling, vacationing or engaging in resort or pleasure activities. Because Florida is a resort destination, these torts occur with great frequency here. Tourists by their very nature are less attentive to dangers because they are in a strange place and are focused on enjoying the surroundings. Often there are higher duties owed to tourists because of their lack of familiarity and awareness of risks that would be otherwise known to the proprietors of certain businesses.