Part A of this article discussed hotel owners' duty to protect guests from harm and injuries as a result of security breaches. Part B of this article will discuss when hotel owners can be held responsible.
In Rabutino v. Freedom State Realty Co., Inc., the Pennsylvania court determined that the hotel was liable for the death of a 19-year old man shot to death during a party. Prior to the party, it was established that the hotel owners knew or should have known about the dangers presented to the guests.
Another situation where the hotel owner can be held liable for guests' injuries stemming from security breaches is if someone breaks into a guest room. As a result of the break-in, if the guest is hurt, the guest may bring a claim against the hotel owners if the incident was foreseeable.
For example, if prior to the guest's stay, the hotel had notice of numerous guest room security breaches and did not do anything to resolve the problem, the hotel may be liable. The hotel could have changed the locks or warned the guests about the break-ins. If the hotel had only one isolated incident of a room break-in years before, then the hotel is probably not going to be held liable.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a hotel security breach or negligent security in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, talk to an experienced premises liability lawyer about your legal rights.