According to a lawsuit filed this week, a South Beach hotel is responsible for the injuries that a group of women inflicted on a guest. The attack allegedly occurred in the lobby of the W Hotel in Miami Beach. Under the facts as alleged by the victim and her husband, the hotel could be liable for failing to protect them from their attackers.
Generally, the law does not impose a duty to protect other people from harm or injury-especially at the hands of another person. A big exception exists, however, for several categories of defendants. One of these categories is innkeepers. Courts have consistently reasoned that hotels and similar establishments have unique duties to keep their guests safe from some harms, particularly when an injury from a criminal assault is foreseeable.
In this case, the plaintiffs claim that the group of women consisted of prostitutes and that they attacked the victim because they thought she was also a prostitute. The plaintiffs are concerned that the hotel breached its duty by encouraging the women to spend time in the hotel’s lobby. According to court documents, similar violent attacks occurred in the same hotel in the past-meaning that the hotel should have foreseen the likelihood of another dangerous confrontation.
Source: Huffington Post, “Lawsuit: Prostitutes Beat NJ Woman In Miami Hotel,” David Porter, June 4, 2013