Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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© Tobias Wenov |

FL vacation home.jpgThis year, Florida Legislature will review several bills filed regarding the state’s $60 billion tourism industry:

• A bill designed to preempt any future efforts to regulate vacation homes as if they were hotels or motels • Stiffer penalties for people who distribute fliers on hotel properties (The Safety Act of 2011)

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A suspected burglar in the Weston Hills Country Club community turned up dead in the canal of the Club’s golf course Sunday. The Sun-Sentinel reported that the Hollywood, Florida suspect died from asphyxia after accidentally drowning, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and Broward Medical Examiner.

A golfer noticed the body on Sunday and informed country club employees. It was not reported whether a weapon was found in the area, indicating that the suspect was armed.

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The Orlando Sentinel reported that Disney filed updated guest-injury reports with the state, revealing a death in December on the Prince Charming Regal Carousel in the Magic Kingdom. A 77-year-old woman with a pre-existing heat condition collapsed and died on the Carousel.

The Sentinel states that this was one of three incidents reported to state authorities for the fourth quarter of 2010 in accordance with an agreement in which “the parks avoid state ride-safety regulation in exchange for providing basic details about guest injuries.”

The other resort injuries involved a 71-year-old woman who fell and broke a hip and shoulder following a ride on the Magic Kingdom Carousel, and a 76-year-old woman who fell on the moving loading platform to The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot.

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A family has filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court after their son died while free diving at The Homestead, a resort in Utah.

Free diver.jpgThey say the resort and its business partner, The Crater, Inc., were not in compliance with Utah law that cites safety regulations for geothermal pools at resorts, because they did not employ a lifeguard, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Resort Tort: Walt Disney World has been sued again, this time by a San Diego, California family whose 4-year-old son was scalded by nacho cheese sauce at Orlando’s Magic Kingdom last March.

The boy was falling out of an unsteady chair when he grabbed a food tray on the table, containing a paper cup of scalding nacho cheese, which splashed onto his face, reports USA Today. The lawsuit claims he suffered “permanent scarring, pain and suffering,” and his parents suffered “serious emotional distress.” The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the family spent months trying to resolve the case out of court, but was not successful.

Disney was also sued last week by a quadriplegic who was left in his wheelchair on a stalled boat for about 40 minutes during an evacuation of other park visitors on the ride.

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Walt Disney Co. has been sued in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, by a quadriplegic who was left in his wheelchair on a stalled boat for about 40 minutes during an evacuation of other park visitors on the ride.

A report of the incident said that while stuck, the man suffered a type of sudden and potentially life-threatening high blood pressure attack that affects people with spinal cord injuries. In the report, the man is quoted as saying that the attack “feel like an ice pick going through your temples.” In the lawsuit, he alleges that Disney employees did not call paramedics when this happened.

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Popular Ocean Drive on Miami Beach, typically teeming with strolling tourists, was lucky to skirt serious mass injuries Saturday when a hotel’s overhang crashed to the sidewalk. Fire Rescue and inspectors arrived on the scene and determined that the collapse of the structure was due to wear and tear, according to the Miami Herald. The building inspector said that water build-up was likely the culprit and there should have been a water drainage system.

Related Case Law for ResortTorts:

• A landowner has 2 basic duties: reasonable care to maintain premises in reasonably safe condition, and give warning of concealed perils which are or should be known and which are unknown to invitee.

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stranger in hotel hallway.jpgThe Tourist Safety Act of 2011 has been signed by a Florida House panel. The legislation (HB 63) approved by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee addresses the potential dangers and risks presented by people who illegally distribute ‘handbills’ such as pizza menus and other fliers in hotels, reports the Orlando Sentinel. The legislation arose because criminals are using bogus menus and coupons to gain credit-card numbers from tourists, to burglarize hotel rooms, and for identity theft at hotels in Central Florida. Attempted rape and the beating of a security guard were also reported in Daytona Beach.

The Act would require written authorization from the hotel to distribute menus. It would also make arrests easier, impose stiffer penalties on violators, and allow police to seize property used to commit the crimes under a contraband-forfeiture law commonly used in drug arrests. The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association and Walt Disney World (operator of around 25,000 hotel rooms time-share suites) supported the bill.

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Golf Ball.jpgAn attempted robbery on the Deerfield Country Club golf course has left a golfer dead. The Sun Sentinel reported that Lataurus Randall, a 35-year-old man, was playing golf with Melvin Philpart near the 17th hole around 6:30 p.m. when two masked man stepped out of the bushes and attempted to rob them. Mr. Randall was shot in the back. Mr. Philpart was not injured. Mr. Randall was rushed to North Broward Medical Center by Deerfield Beach Fire Rescue but died Friday morning.

A golf course expert was quoted in the Sentinel article saying that most carts and golfers are not on the course that late in the dark. But this was not the first shooting at a South Florida golf club, according to the article. In 2009, a man shot at a golfer and nearby homes of the Killian Greens Golf Club. In 2006, a shop employee at the Forest Oaks Golf Club in Palm Beach County was shot while closing the store. And in 1998, a 65-year-old man was shot and killed on the 16th hole of the Bayshore Golf Course in Miami Beach during a robbery attempt.

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