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Can I sue the hotel?

Laughlin, NV |

I recently stayed at a hotel in Nevada. I was alone in my room getting ready to take a shower. I had the "do not disturb" sign on my door and a male maid entered my room without warning anyway. I was completely naked and screamed "get out!" The guy just stood there and then proceeded to start yelling in Spanish. I had no idea what he was saying. I thought he was going to rape me. I continued to scream until he finally left....maybe 3 or 4 min. I'm not sure. I called the front desk, and they sent security to take my statement. They moved me to the opposite side of the hotel for my last two nights. This incident ruined my entire trip. I feel violated and freaked out. Is there anything I can do?

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Attorney answers 8

Best Answer
Posted

You have a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress -- perhaps even intentional infliction since the guy didn't immediately turn and leave upon finding the room occupied and you screaming at him. The issue will be one of damages. Without actual medical expenses, you only have emotional trauma which is very hard to quantify. You should speak to the hotel manager and get their side of the story. Why was the guy there? Why didn't he leave right away? What do they intend to do to make this "right" to you? Depending on the answers/satisfaction you receive from the hotel, you may wish to contact attorneys in Southern Nevada to see if they are interested in presenting a claim on your behalf.

Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A consultation with an attorney experienced in the area of law(s) indicated in the question is highly recommended. Information and advice given here should not be relied upon for any final action or decision, as the information is limited by its nature to the question asked and the fact(s) presented in that question. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, particularly considering that the names of the parties are unknown.

Erin Levine

Erin Levine

Posted

In order to aualify for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress the claim has to meet the elements including: The conduct must be heinous and beyond the standards of civilized decency or utterly intolerable in a civilized society. Perhaps the guy was just utterly dumbstruck to see a naked woman screaming at him. But what is the "severe" emotional distress resulting? It has to go above and beyond the norm.

Asker

Posted

Hi Jill. Do you know any attys in the Las Vegas area who may be willing to talk to me? The hotel's story is: my "please make up room" side of the card was facing out. The maid didn't speak English, so apparently didn't understand my repeated requests to "get out!" In addition, I have PTSD. I haven't been able to sleep since this incident.

Jill K. Whitbeck

Jill K. Whitbeck

Posted

Start working your way through the yellow pages, or google search personal injury attorney Las Vegas. Make sure you seek treatment for your PTSD, as you will need the opinion of a professional to prove your damages. Even a person not speaking English should understand when confronting a guest in a compromised position to turn around immediately, apologizing profusely, and leave the room. I fully disagree with Ms. Cecil-Levine, as I see this as a severe situation, particularly for a modest person. Plus, there are many cases dealing with unauthorized "peeping" (such as Erin Andrews of ESPN) where even when the guest did not know they were being seen naked at the time, when they found out later it was sufficient grounds for an emotional distress claim.

Posted

Legally, probably not. You can contact the hotel management to try to comp you a room/trip in the future.

I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Answers posted to Avvo are for general information only. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. Every case depends is fact dependent, and responses are limited to and is based on the information you posted. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.

Posted

I am sorry that you feel that your trip was ruined. You may want to contact the Hotel about getting compensation for the room, but without damages, you most likely don't have a claim.

Posted

I'm sorry to hear about this, and the hotel should comp you your stay.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

Posted

I agree with my colleagues. While you may technically have a claim for infliction of emotional distress, the main problem will be establishing and proving damages. Plus, it may be difficult finding an attorney to take the case on given the perceived limited value.

If you would like a free consultation, call me at 702-823-3333. www.naimidilbeck.com

Posted

In my opinion, the real issue in your case would be any liability on the part of the hotel because, as a practical matter, there is no other "pocket" you could reach into for a monetary recovery. Proving that the hotel is liable would, in the best case, require showing that incidents like this had occurred before in that hotel or nearby hotels; that hotel management knew or should have known about that and that the hotel was negligent in failing to take precautionary steps. In addition, you would also have an issue regarding damages. Unless you have been under treatment by a doctor for serious emotional problems following the incident, your monetary damages would be almost nil.

Asker

Posted

It doesn't seem fair. Does it? The guy is a pervert.

Mark Stephan Braun

Mark Stephan Braun

Posted

I agree that it isn't fair, but real-world situations often aren't and, in demonstration of that fact, the "law" itself is imperfect in that it can't always provide a redress to every outrage that can occur to any of us. Unfortunately.

Posted

Nevada Supreme Court
Clarifies the Foreseeability
Element of Nevada’s Law
Innkeeper Liability
A recent case allowed the Nevada
Supreme Court to address a disconnect
between Nevada’s statutory limitation
on innkeeper liability, codified at NRS
§ 651.015, and the Nevada Supreme
Court decision rendered in Doud v. Las
Vegas Hilton Corp., 109 Nev. 1096
(1993). In Doud, the Nevada Supreme
Court addressed the four elements
a plaintiff must establish to succeed
on a negligence claim for innkeeper
liability: duty, breach, proximate cause
and damages. In determining whether
an innkeeper owed a duty of care to its
patrons, the Court recognized that the
duty to prevent wrongful conduct by a
third party occurs only when the wrongful
conduct was foreseeable. In evaluating
foreseeability, the Court set forth two
distinct approaches: 1) evidence of prior
similar acts; and 2) the totality of the
circumstances.
Following the Doud decision, the
Nevada Legislature enacted NRS §
651.015 to clarify that the judge, not the
jury, is to determine whether an innkeeper
had a duty to its patrons. In doing so,
the Nevada Legislature created a general
limitation on an innkeeper’s civil liability.
Pursuant to NRS § 651.015, an innkeeper
is not liable unless the death or injury
of a patron is caused by the foreseeable,
wrongful act of a third party, and there
is a preponderance of evidence to show
a failure to exercise due care. If an injury
is unforeseeable, the innkeeper owes no
duty, and the district court has no occasion
to consider the remaining negligence
elements.
On the early morning of June 25, 2006,
Daniel Ott entered the Silver Nugget
Casino with two friends. The three
proceeded into the Touchdown Lounge
and joined a “boisterous” group around
several pool tables near the bar. This group
had already caught the attention of casino
security, and within five minutes of Mr.
Ott’s arrival, the entire group was asked
to leave. At this same time, Allen Tyrone
Smith, Jr. was seated at a bar adjacent
to the Touchdown Lounge. One of Mr.
Smith’s friends began arguing with one of
Mr. Ott’s friends as Mr. Ott and his friends
were leaving the Touchdown Lounge. Mr.
Smith rose from his barstool, pushed his
way through the crowd, and punched Mr.
Ott’s friend in the face. In response, Mr.
Ott brandished a concealed weapon and
fatally shot Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith’s Estate
and surviving family filed suit against
Silver Nugget Casino, alleging negligence,
wrongful death, and loss of consortium

In evaluating “similar” acts, the
Nevada Supreme Court looked to Nevada
legislative history, which provided some
hypothetical examples. One method
of evaluating whether incidents were
similar was to question whether the events
involved similar security issues, noting
that casinos in different towns should not
be considered similar because they handle
security in different ways. Other examples
distinguished between events occurring in
the inner verses outer areas of a casino, as
well as contrasts in the different levels of
violence. The Nevada legislative history
also revealed that the “due care” language
of NRS § 651.015 allowed a judge to look
beyond the existence of “similar wrongful
acts,” and to consider the basic minimum
precautions reasonably expected of an
innkeeper. The Court found that this
authority was akin to the totality of the
circumstances approach in Doud, where
a judge could impose a duty as a matter of
law when there was reason to anticipate a
wrongful act, regardless of past experience.
The Nevada Supreme Court ultimately
held that the prior incidents noted by
Plaintiffs were not similar to the subject
incident and did not establish a duty on
the part of Silver Nugget Casino. The
Court also disagreed with Plaintiffs’
contention that the prior incidents were
sufficient to put Silver Nugget Casino
on notice that additional precautionary
measures were necessary. the
evidence established that the Silver
Nugget Casino took basic precautionary
measures.

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Howard Roitman, Esq. and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

Asker

Posted

How does this relate to my situation? Thanks for your help.

Posted

Sorry this happened.

I have to say that it is a very unusual story - and we in Vegas are used to hearing everything. In the future, yelling "¡Que se vaya!" or "¡fuera de aquí!" will be more explanatory to him!

Clark County, Nevada practitioner.

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