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What are a hotel’s duties to protect guests?

Visitors to State College are entitled to protection if they stay at one of its hotels. Innkeepers must take reasonable steps to protect their guests from harm or face the consequences of a premises liability lawsuit.

Hotels have the duty of reasonable care of being vigilant and protecting their guests from foreseeable risks. This includes protection from injuries and criminal acts caused by other guests and assaults and negligence from their own employees.

Their duties are not restricted to providing warnings to guests. Hotels must actively police their facilities.

They also must take reasonable care over the safety of their guests’ property. There may be limits on their liability for property, which must be disclosed, and guests may have to deposit certain property with the hotel for safekeeping.

Hotels should warn guests of any hidden hazards that are reasonably foreseeable and make inspections to determine whether the hotel is safe. Hotels also face liability for injuries by not complying with fire and safety codes. There should be adequate entrances and exits.

Common areas such as hallways, passageways and stairways must be properly illuminated, unobstructed and free from any hazards. The innkeeper also has the duty of assuring that elevators are inspected, repaired and kept in a safe condition.

Any appliances or furniture for the guests’ convenience must be kept in a reasonably safe condition. This also applies to other conveniences such as swimming pools and plumbing. Windows and screens must be in working order and secure.

The risk of harm may increase where the hotel has a bar and swimming pool. An attorney can help injured guests hold hotels accountable for their injuries.