About two years ago, a Orange County man was waiting for a bus at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. His plan was to meet some friends in Las Vegas.
As he waited, he didn’t know that a homeless woman was trying to balance on a window ledge 11 stories above him. The woman fell to her death and landed on the man. He was critically injured, his spine badly dislocated, his right leg broken.
The attorneys of Easton & Easton, LLP, are currently representing the injured man, whose current and future medical costs alone are more than $16 million.
After four surgeries, the man still lives in constant pain, is unable to walk and is mostly bedridden. At least three more surgeries are expected, and one of those surgeries will involve fixing pins in the man’s spine. Currently, he can only sit up right for brief periods of time.
How does an accident like this happen?
Handling a case as devastating as this one requires extensive investigative and professional resources, particularly when the victim is up against the legal resources of a large company or corporation.
For example, the owner of Crowne Plaza is Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG).
These are two major questions in the lawsuit:
- How does a homeless person — a person who obviously looks homeless — get through a hotel’s front lobby, go up into the hotel, search a number of hotel rooms and then find an open one?
- How does this person then get onto the window ledge outside the room, which is above a designated valet area?
Issues of Liability
Our investigator found that the hotel’s doors are faulty and can easily fail to lock properly.
In this case, after the woman had entered the room and security had been made aware of the situation, she apparently became scared and tried to hide. Still, hotel personnel were unable to enter the room in time to remove the woman. She had already gotten onto the window ledge. This issue of security not being able to access the room is also a matter of liability.
And why does the window of a hotel room open enough for a person to pass through to the exterior of the building? Moreover, why is this possible when the window is above a valet area — a place where people have been told to stand and wait for their vehicles safely?
We know that the industry standard for a hotel window is that it should not open more than four inches, and this window opened enough to allow a person to get onto the exterior of the building, above the valet area.
ABC 7 News recently spoke with our client about his ordeal.
His life was changed in an instant — for reasons beyond his control.
“It’s like being in hell,” he said. “There’s only one dream for me and that is to walk again.”
At Easton & Easton, LLP, we are committed to helping injury victims obtain the full and fair compensation they need and deserve.
For more on our personal injury legal practice, please see our overviews of the following topics: