Articles Tagged with “hotel liability”

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While vacationing in Miami Beach, a guest of the Fontainebleau resort got more than she expected: sexual battery and a very personal licking by her massage therapist. Masseuse Francisco Araica was charged with sexual battery after police said he inappropriately touched and licked a woman during a massage.

The hotel guest was having a massage at the Lapis Spa inside the Fontainebleau hotel on September 23rd when Araica sexually battered her. The man reportedly told the guest he “had never done this before but she was so beautiful.”

Vacationers at resorts often take advantage of the spa services and reasonably assume that the massage therapists are capable, qualified, trained, supervised and ethical. Most spa massages are exactly what the guest expected: therapeutic and relaxing. But guests are at the mercy of the massage therapist – and the spa itself – when in a vulnerable position of receiving a massage.

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A marine toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor reports in The Huffington Post that beach goers in four Gulf states are suffering skin rashes, blisters, welts, sore throats, ear bleeds and bronchitis after being in the ocean. The culprit? Dispersed oil – tiny bubbles of oil encased in chemical dispersants in the water column – and they’re invisible. Overexposure to crude oil through inhalation and skin contact are known to create these symptoms.

Worse — not only are small children at risk of breathing a higher dose of contaminants per body weight than adults, but children, pregnant women, people with compromised or stressed immune systems like cancer survivors and asthma sufferers, and African Americans are more at risk from oil and chemical exposure – the latter because they are prone to sickle cell anemia, reports the toxicologist.

Long-term effects of exposure to the chemical dispersants being used on the BP oil spill are yet to be seen but, as reported in The Tampa Tribune, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention assert that long-term exposure can cause central nervous system problems or damage to the kidneys or liver.

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In April of this year, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced a Tourist Oriented Policing Squad (TOPS) consisting of 10 deputies specifically trained to handle safety issues related to tourism. The announcement came one week prior to the release of 2009 crime statistics for the state of Florida, which showed a 7% drop in crime.

The statistics were generated for the 2009 Annual Uniform Crime Report, which includes offenses reported by 409 of 415 local, county and state law-enforcement agencies throughout the state. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released the information, claiming 60,000 fewer crimes than in 2008 and a 39-year low after years of record-breaking violence.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the drop in crime is good news for Central Florida’s tourism industry, and quoted the president of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, who stated: “It will support our worldwide reputation as being a safe destination.” But tourists and residents alike should not let their guards down just yet. While the numbers are encouraging, they also show more than 32,800 violent crimes committed in the state of Florida in 2009.

Travelers should be aware that when crimes occur in hotels or motels, premises liability can come into play in incidents involving assaults due to negligent security or insufficient lighting, dangerous products, pool and spa tragedies, transportation negligence (plane, car, bus, or taxi crashes), boating accidents, and many others. Key areas of potential hotel/motel liability include:
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