speaking of towel bars ... and grab bars

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seashanty's picture
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i recently stayed at a sweet place in vermont and someone used a towel bar as support.  ripped it out of the wall and fell.

 i don't know what's going to happen with the claim the guest is planning to file for injury.  surely a towel bar next to the sink is not a 'grab bar' like in the shower or tub area. do these have to be labeled 'not for support' or something like that?  a thin little towel bar maybe an inch in diameter? 

the innkeeper was in tears when the guest checked out, guest and her companion promising to 'sue' ... and i do wonder what will happen.  what about common sense and responsibility on the part of the guest?

(this is what led to my sharing of the basket for towels in the forum ... because no way would this person assume she could use THAT to keep herself standing.)

 we had a sink that had the old fashioned mount to the wall by invisible means ... nothing underneath but pipes ... and a guest dislodged that the first month we were open by leaning on it to stand ... so we had to build support under it. 

Arks's picture
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I think cities in Arkansas are exempt from liability lawsuits like tripping on the sidewalk. Governments make the rules, so they're pretty good at exempting themselves.

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gillumhouse's picture
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In WV we (municipalities) can make laws more stringent than but not less so than State Code. We are not exempt from lawsuits. We are replacing our downtown sidewalks as we can for the liability issues as much as aesthetics. Even using City employees to do the labor, it is expensive.

gillumhouse's picture
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Unfortunately this is the case in today's world. "Back in MY day" the insurance company would haul out a lawyer letterhead and hat was that - the insurance company had better lawyers than anyone else. Today it is settle and go away - and the scammers know it.

My City has the same problem. We have had people "claim" they tripped on a crack in the sidewalk (and not in the place where the IS a CRACK in the sidewalk) and sued the City. It is a City so they have deep pockets - uhhhm no they do not actually. Our premiums have gone up because of the claims that the insurance company just settled rather than fight - even the ones that the City had all the evidence needed to prove we were not at fault. $5000 here, $3000 there. The scammers know to not go for the big bucks that WILL be challenged. They Pac Man it with a little bite here and a little bite there. And those bites add up.

seashanty's picture
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 i emailed the innkeeper and she had contacted her own insurance agent right away - AND had a call from the guest's lawyer. that was fast!  she took pictures of the little towel rod on the floor - and same install in another room.  anyone can see that it's not for support.  i think the guest started to fall and grabbed it hoping to keep from falling, or just reached out for the nearest thing to grab. 

the insurance agent has now put the innkeeper in touch with the lawyer they use.  says it will likely be a slip and fall injury claim - premises liability.  no way should it be a negligence thing of failing to provide properly installed grab bars if this is what they were hoping to sue on the grounds of.  but they may agree to 'settle' which is just so sad.  "write me a check and it will all go away." 

i'm not friends with the innkeeper, just concerned, and offered to give my testimony of the guest room setup and towel bar vs tub grab bar if it would help. obviously i did not see the woman fall and don't know what happened. i only heard all the commotion.  she thanked me and told me she probably shouldn't discuss it while it's pending. but someone would be in touch if need be.

i used to worry so much about a guest falling down the stairs leading up to the guest rooms. 

ugh.

 

 

Generic's picture
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Darwin was right....

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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More than likely, the insurance company will tell them to just settle. An innkeeper friend of mine had a wedding guest (not a stayover) who got drunk and fell. Injured herself, but not severely. They did call an ambulance which took her to the hospital. Innkeeper soon got a letter from her lawyer. Lady wanted $5,000. Insurance company highly suggested that the innkeeper just pay her off because of the couple thousand dollar deductible on her policy and if they had to open a case, her premiums would go up and it wouldn't be worth going through the insurance company in the long run.

By the way, there was nothing that the lady tripped on. Nothing that the innkeeper/b&b was responsible for!

They wrote her a check for the $5,000 to make it go away.

What a nightmare and there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves from this crap.

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I would have called the Ins. Commissioner on that one.  That is a THREAT from the ins carrier...  makes them no better than the drunk.

You pay ins. for the times you need it.  If they are going to cancel you if you file 1 claim they should not be doing business. 

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Copperhead wrote:

You pay ins. for the times you need it.  If they are going to cancel you if you file 1 claim they should not be doing business. 

Amen! But more and more I'm seeing insurance companies trying to take all the risk out of their business. If anything about your place seems risky, they don't want your business. They only want clients who aren't likely to ever file a claim.

This is a new way of running an insurance business. They used to take risks and balance it with enough low risk clients to make a decent income. But now they want to keep ALL the premiums that are paid to them.

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Arks wrote:

Copperhead wrote:

You pay ins. for the times you need it.  If they are going to cancel you if you file 1 claim they should not be doing business. 

Amen! But more and more I'm seeing insurance companies trying to take all the risk out of their business. If anything about your place seems risky, they don't want your business. They only want clients who aren't likely to ever file a claim.

Tell me about it, you know where I livewink

Generic's picture
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How odd. Our insurance company doesn't raise our premiums at all for liability. But out liability laws and payouts are very different.

Arks's picture
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Jon Sable wrote:

How odd. Our insurance company doesn't raise our premiums at all for liability. But out liability laws and payouts are very different.

Same here. Arkansas law makes them spread the risk over the whole state. Can't raise the premium on one individual who has one claim. And, my liability policy has no deductible for things like this.

Madeleine's picture
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My guess is they were looking for a way to get money for nothing.

No one would expect a towel bar to hold them up if they grabbed it while falling.

That doesn't pass the straight face test.

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I had an elderly woman here last night and this morning. Not a stepford. Nuff said. I would much rather market to the younger crowd, than the curmudgeon club.

            There is no one here to carry the heavy bag YOU packed, up the stairs.

           There is no special fruten-glee lactose free vegetarian breakfast at 5am because you are up when the rest of the three rooms are still in bed.

            No we can't turn the HEAT ON when the air conditioning is on and everyone is warm except you.

             Yes, our orange is really lemonade, we are trying to trick you.  

             Yes, you can take the homemade banana muffins in your purse that you said you couldn't eat because you are lactose intolerant and there is milk, barely, baked into them and so demanded toast.

...oh yeah plenty of old this morning at the inn!

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Madeleine's picture
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That's 75% of my business right there! Told a telemarketer yesterday that most of our guests are over 80. Never had someone trying to sell me something try so hard to hang up on me ever before!

Generic's picture
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I gotta call the Poli-Grip guy. You can get a B&B sponsor!

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Jon Sable wrote:

I gotta call the Poli-Grip guy. You can get a B&B sponsor!

speaking of old fogies... Yeah why don't you check in BEFORE your room has even checked out, that works well.  Here for a high school reunion tonight. The rest WILL BE AWESOME as they are here for a great well known band.  

I told this lady on the phone and in the email she can check in at 3pm. Not 11am.

seashanty's picture
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oh, please!

absolutely ridiculous!

like the time i had a whole house full of wedding guests, they were booked solid with wedding guests across the road, too.  an elderly couple arrived at 9 am to try to check in (check in was at 3 pm), saw the breakfast buffet and started loading up plates!  to make matters worse, they were in the wrong place - they belonged at the hotel across the road!!! 

they were so offended when i politely told them breakfast for them would be TOMORROW morning ... across the road.  they toddled out, with the man munching a muffin, his pockets bulging with hard boiled eggs and fruit and the woman carrying one of my mugs which i had to take out of her hand.  

it was the beginning of a very looong weekend.

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Jon Sable wrote:

I gotta call the Poli-Grip guy. You can get a B&B sponsor!

speaking of old fogies... Yeah why don't you check in BEFORE your room has even checked out, that works well.  Here for a high school reunion tonight. The rest WILL BE AWESOME as they are here for a great well known band.  

I told this lady on the phone and in the email she can check in at 3pm. Not 11am.

Generic's picture
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One of the things I love about this country, if you sue, loser pays all the bills... so if you put up a silly lawsuit like that, when you lose, you pay all my legal costs as well! Though it's covered by our liability policy and the insurance company takes over. Usually it ends as soon as the person who wants to sue goes to a lawyer and finds out that they unless there was malice involved they will only receive real damages and/or their lawyer discovers that they will have to deal with an insurance company's lawyers and the client was likely better off using the small claims court. We don't have "pain and suffering" in any case, so actual damages are going to be a piddling.

It's a towel bar, for heaven's sake. Where is her common sense? Did the owner tell her that she will also have to pay for the damages to the room? Take pictures of the damage to the room? Call her insurance company to report the threat?

I have no towel bars in the bathroom in that sense. I have bars that swing from a central fastener, so they are open ended. And I have little towel hooks on the wall as well. (Grundtal for all the people who shop for Chinese goods with fancy Scandanavian names). 

My guess... the lady threatening to sue will call up a lawyer, get the information on a retainer and drop it. Or get the lawyer to try to extort some money in hopes of it costing nothing except for a phone call. She needs to get the insurance company involved immediately because that will end it soonest.

Arks's picture
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Jon Sable wrote:

One of the things I love about this country, if you sue, loser pays all the bills...

 

Very sensible.

Jon Sable wrote:

She needs to get the insurance company involved immediately because that will end it soonest.

Excellent advice.

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