Whether you travel for work and would be happy to never check into a hotel again or feel that a night or two spent in a hotel is itself a holiday, one thing remains the same. As a hotel guest, you expect that both your safety and privacy are guaranteed. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case—as a disturbing new trend proves.
Hotel Security Isn’t Always Up to Snuff
Chances are you’ve seen the headlines yourself: a guest alleges that lax security on the part of the front desk attendants has resulted in their being the victim of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. In an alarmingly high number of cases, the suspect claimed that they were related to or visiting the guest—and the hotel’s front desk attendant simply handed over a copy of the key card. No identification was requested, no guests were contacted to verify the interloper’s identity, and no security measures whatsoever were taken.
The Question of Liability
Hotel owners and operators are liable for what goes on under the roof of their establishments. To limit that liability, it’s crucial for hospitality industry executives to implement safety protocols and to train all hotel staff in those protocols adequately. The hotels’ HR departments must have a policy in place for thoroughly vetting employee candidates via background checks and other screenings.
Should these measures fall short of the criminal concept known as “duty of care,” several entities could be liable under the law—the individual desk clerk, other hotel staff members, and the establishment’s owner or operator.
Assault Committed By a Hotel Employee
Sometimes the alleged perpetrator is an employee of the hotel, not a stranger who’s wandered in off the street or a malicious acquaintance of the guest. Unfortunately, it’s pretty clear how easily this can occur; depending on their position, those who work in the hotel have access to any room, knowledge of guests’ whereabouts (which they could use to target victims or to ensure there are no nearby witnesses), and even the ability to block security cameras for the duration of the assault or to delete the footage afterward.
Assaults in this context can lead to criminal charges and civil suits in which the hotel and its operators/owners are named.
When a Hotel Stay Turns Into a Horror Show
The trauma of sexual assault takes a tremendous toll on victims, especially when the survivor had placed their trust in a company and its employees—only to have it irrevocably shattered.
If you have been sexually assaulted or experienced an attempted assault during a stay in a hotel or other hospitality establishment, count on us. Contact Greer Law to schedule a complimentary cons\ultation with one of our experienced, compassionate attorneys. Please fill out our contact form or call 303-331-6460 to discuss the recourse that may be available.