hotel room view of a bed, window, chair, and lamp

Premises LiabilityInadequate Hotel Security Lawyer

Guest Victimized by Felon with Master Pass Key

Hotels provide a home away from home for their guests. A guest is entitled to be protected at a hotel as any homeowner. Maryland law requires hotels to provide the highest level of care.

Hotel Guest Attacks IntruderHotel Failed to Secure Room

Lawyer George Patterson obtained a $75,000 settlement for a Baltimore, Maryland resident that stayed in a hotel in Georgia that was broken into by an intruder. The Baltimore man awoke to find the intruder looking through his wallet. The hotel guest successfully fought the intruder giving him a head wound and a bloody nose. The intruder fled the hotel room leaving behind his DNA and bloody hand prints. After the incident the guest realized that the interior door lock had been removed. An investigation by inadequate security lawyer George Patterson revealed that the intruder was a hotel employee with several felony convictions that was issued a master pass key by the hotel. The lawyer discovered that the hotel employee had removed the interior door lock from the room and disconnected the phone to facilitate the planned theft. George Patterson’s client fortunately escaped injury with the exception of bruised knuckles. The inadequate hotel security lawyer pursued a claim alleging that the hotel security procedures for the hiring and monitoring of hotel employees was inadequate.

Hotel Hired A FelonFelon given a master pass key by the Hotel

The hotel may not have known that the employee was a danger to the hotel customers but the hotel had a duty to verify that the employee could be trusted with a master pass key. A simple background check would have revealed that the employee had several felony convictions. In addition, this particular hotel employee learned building maintenance in a program sponsored by the prison. The hotel at a minimum had a duty to supervise the employee and not entrust this employee with a master pass key. Claims for inadequate security have also been successfully pursued against night clubs, apartment buildings and other businesses where the business owners were on notice of the need to provide security. Maryland does not permit a claim against a person or company for selling alcohol to a person that later injures another person. This is based on a series of Court opinions referred to as “Dram Shop” cases. The Dram Shop cases typically involved a claim by a person injured by a drunk driver that attempted to recover against the bar that continued to serve drinks to the visibly intoxicated patron before they attempted to drive home. The legal cause of the injuries was held to be the intervening act by the customer to drive drunk.

Electronic door locks at hotels are operated through magnetic cards, like a subway card (old technology) or with RFID cards (newer technology). RFID technology is less susceptible to breaches.

Hotels Are Responsible For Dangerous ConditionsHotels must protect guests from known dangers

The Maryland Courts have also recognized that dangerous conditions on business premises may arise, in part, because alcohol is being served to customers. A business owner may be liable for injuries to its customers caused by its negligence if it had knowledge of the potential danger and the ability to prevent that danger. This reasoning arguably could lead to clubs being held liable for one customer being injured by another intoxicated customer at events with a history of fights and assaults committed by intoxicated customers. Rowdy and boisterous behavior by intoxicated customers is not sufficient notice for a business owner. Aggressive and violent conduct by customers before an incident occurs may be sufficient to establish a duty by the business owner to protect one customer from another.

George Patterson did a fantastic job representing me in two cases. He looked out for my best interest and investigated all avenues in presenting my case. He is highly professional and a very strategic thinker, which you need to deal with large insurance companies.

Leo P.

An Inadequate Hotel Security Client

Hotels must comply with a high duty of care because hotel guests are completely dependent on the hotel for their safety.

Maria Patterson

Hotel Security Lawyer

Get Started Today

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident or suffered a serious personal injury due to someone else’s negligence please contact the best personal injury lawyers at Patterson Law. George Patterson has been featured in an article published in the Best Lawyers in America. The “best” injury lawyers may be reached at their Annapolis or Bowie offices at 301-888-4878.

Schedule a Consultation