Lynch v. La Valencia Hotel Corporation, Slip-Tech Inc.

R. Michael Bomberger

Case Conclusion Date:August 3, 2009

Practice Area:Slip and Fall Accident

Outcome:$650,000 Settlement

Description:FACTS: Plaintiff Lynch, 45, slipped and fell at La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, CA. In approximately 2005, the management at La Valencia Hotel had remodeled a portion of the hotel known as the “Veranda Room” with smooth marble tiles. La Valencia was aware that this flooring was extremely slippery when wet (in stock trim) so it hired co-defendant Slip-Tech to apply an etching process to provide guests with more traction when the tile became wet. To clean the tiles, La Valencia used a steel wool buffer and then applied a polish to make them look shiny. This cleaning process possibly affected the etching process performed by Slip-Tech and made the tiles slippery when wet. It was raining on the date of the incident. As plaintiff made his way into the Veranda room from the outdoor walkway, he slipped on the slick landing where the black and white tiles were located, despite the fact he was taking precautions not to do so by “shuffling” over to a nearby handrail at the time of the incident. PLAINTIFF’S CONTENTIONS: The plaintiff alleged that Slip-Tech installed and La Valencia managed a tile floor that was slippery when wet. The plaintiff alleged that La Valencia Hotel had noticed the dangerous condition prior to the fall. The plaintiff also claimed that his ankle would need to be fused in the future. DEFENDANT’S CONTENTIONS: The defendants denied that they were negligent or that their negligence caused plaintiff any injury. La Valencia Hotel alleged that Slip-Tech Inc. failed to microscopically etch the La Valencia Hotel floor to have a coefficient of friction at 0.6 when wet or better. Slip-Tech alleged that it microscopically etched the floor as it guaranteed. The defendants contended that plaintiff was comparatively negligent and also contested the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries. INJURIES: Lynch sustained a left ankle fracture and dislocation, which required a surgery to place a screw and plate in the bone. The surgery was successful. RESULT: The case settled for $650,000.

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