News & Events

Yarborough Applegate Secures $3.5 Million Settlement for Youth’s Marriott Hotel Injury

Posted: June 21, 2024

After a 14-year-old was seriously injured by a shattered glass shower door at a Marriott hotel in coastal South Carolina, Yarborough Applegate attorneys Reynolds Blankenship and John Dodds secured a $3.5 million settlement for the young victim. 

Our client and his family had enjoyed a day on the beach together when they returned to their room in the Marriott hotel, where our client took a shower. As he exited the shower, its sliding glass shower door exploded and shattered into countless sharp fragments, lacerating our client in numerous places. The glass severed the radial sensory nerve in his left arm, which required surgical repair and resulted in substantial scarring. Our client incurred approximately $70,000 in medical expenses. 

Yarborough Applegate filed a hotel lawsuit against the hotel’s owner and operator, alleging that they breached their duty to inspect it for unreasonably dangerous conditions, protect our client from encountering the condition, or reasonably warn him of the danger. The Defendants contested liability and damages, claiming they had no knowledge of a hazard.

However, as we dug into the case, we found some 32 incidents of glass shower doors exploding and injuring guests at four of the Defendants’ Marriott hotels—including ten incidents at this very location prior to our client’s incident. And yet, despite all of these incidents, the Defendants had never attempted to determine the root cause. 

As soon as our expert inspected the glass shower doors at the hotel where our client was injured, we found the answer: the hardware holding the sliding door on the track had been improperly installed, which allowed the shower door to jump off the track if an obstacle (such as a bathing suit or towel) were hanging on the door. The slightest jump off the track would cause the door to land on the curb of the shower and explode. In lieu of investigating, Defendants had chosen to place “warning signs” on the doors that read, “Please Open and Close Door Gently”—which was not a warning about the actual risk posed.

The Defendants had even purchased “safety film” to be installed on the glass shower doors—not as a way to prevent the doors from shattering, but rather to encapsulate any shattered glass after explosion so that it would not fall on guests and cut them. While the safety film arrived at the hotel three years prior to our client’s injury, the Defendants did not begin installing it until 6 months before his incident. At that time, the safety film was only installed in 330 of the hotel’s 405 rooms before running out. Instead of purchasing more film or refraining from renting the remaining 75 rooms to guests, the Defendants continued renting those rooms without warning guests of the known hazard. One of those 75 rooms was the room rented to our client’s family. 

During this case, the Defendants’ vice president of operations testified that Defendants never even thought about closing any rooms to guests, even though they had not yet had the safety film installed, because the rooms technically “met code.” 

The hotel injury settlement of $3.5 million included $1 million from primary liability insurer Sompo International and $2.5 million from excess liability insurer Allied World.

SOUTH CAROLINA PREMISES LIABILITY ATTORNEYS

In South Carolina and across the country, property owners can be liable for injuries that occur on their property if those injuries were due to the owner’s negligence. But these can be difficult cases, and proving a property owner is at fault requires showing that a dangerous condition existed on the property and that the property owner knew or should have known about it. Doing this calls for in-depth investigation, documentation, and strategy. Plus, you could be going up against a large corporation or insurance company with ample resources to defend against your claim.

Our Charleston hotel negligence attorneys are well-versed in these cases and afraid of no one. We are committed to holding property owners and businesses accountable for their negligence in unsafe conditions. If you or a loved one has been injured at a hotel or on someone else’s property, we know you have questions. Contact us to learn about your options. The conversation is always free.

Disclaimer: Every case is unique, and prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.

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