The 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.
Inadequate security and premises liability lawsuits can unfold from crime occurring on resort and hotel premises. Premises liability may result from negligent security, inadequate security personnel, insufficient lighting, inadequate security equipment, or other causes. In negligent security cases, the plaintiff who has been injured due to a criminal act brings an action against the owner or manager of the premises or business. Those who are in control or in a position to prevent the incident where the plaintiff was injured are the parties who are most often defendants. The law governing these cases is derived from the general principle that those who own or possess property have a duty to protect users from accidental, negligent, and intentional acts of third parties.
Negligent security and safety measures – ranging from inadequate lighting to faulty locking mechanisms and inadequate key control or negligent conduct by security personnel – can give way to injuries, criminal acts and even violent attacks, particularly when tourists are unfamiliar or unaware of the risks in their vacation environment.
Resort Torts 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.