By:   Jason R. Margulies

hilton-hotelAs one of the world’s leading law firms that represents clients across the globe who have been injured while vacationing aboard cruise ships or at hotels and resorts, the attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. are constantly monitoring the news and industry publications to stay current on accidents and legal cases that touch on our areas of expertise. While not all incidents were necessarily the fault of the property owners, it is our firm belief that most, if not all, of these injuries, accidents, crimes or tragedies were preventable. 

This article will focus specifically on recent accidents that have occurred at the Hilton Hotel chain. If you were injured at a Hilton or any other hotel, contact the hotel injury lawyers at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. immediately for a free consultation with one of our award-winning attorneys. 

Recent Accidents that Occurred at Hilton Hotels

The following cases all involve recent accidents that occurred at Hilton properties. Not all of these cases have concluded and some information may not be available to the public at this time. 

Elevator Technician Falls Down a Shaft in Chicago DoubleTree by Hilton

December 13, 2010 – This incident involved a 42-year-old elevator technician who worked for the Anderson Elevator Company, which was hired by the hotel to perform routine maintenance. While in the shaft, the repairman lost his footing and fell approximately 15 feet. He was transported to the hospital where his condition was listed as severe. The accident victim broke his foot. Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, this incident should have been covered under Anderson Elevator’s policy, which would cover the technician’s medical bills and lost wages. In workers’ comp cases, the victim can generally recover damages even if they’re at fault.  Importantly, there may also be additional tort liability attached to the hotel owner.  These types of cases are often referred to as third party cases, where a worker who is injured is suing someone other than their employer.  We have successfully countless similar third party cases.  And we are currently handling a catastrophic injury case involving an elevator fall to an employee who was working aboard an MSC cruise ship.  

DoubleTree by Hilton Employee Accused of Raping Guest in Hotel Room in Berkeley

June 5, 2020 – An unidentified victim reported that 64-year-old Isaac Amiga, a restaurant supervisor at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Berkeley, CA, approached her and paid for her meal and a glass of wine. The victim described feeling “weird” and said she blacked out. When she later regained consciousness, she was being sexually assaulted in her hotel room by Amiga. He was later arrested on  suspicion of rape. The police stated that DNA evidence tied him to the rape. The DoubleTree placed Amiga on administrative leave and subsequently terminated him.  Hotels must take every possible reasonable precaution to ensure the safety of their guests, and this can include vicarious liability for the wrongful or criminal acts of its employees.  We are intimately familiar with handling rape and sexual assault cases against cruise lines and hotel owners and we are currently handling such cases against most or all of the major cruise lines.   

Man Threatens 12-Year-Old Girl at Boca Beach Club in Boca Raton

July 26, 2016 – The family of a 12-year-old girl sued the Boca Beach Club, which is a Waldorf-Astoria Resort owned by Hilton Worldwide, over an incident where a 22-year-old man, Scott Louis Samaha, who was drinking alcohol allegedly made threats to the victim and physically touched her. In a redacted lawsuit filing, the family claimed that touching was done in a harmful and offensive manner without the consent of the minor. The family  sued the resort for failure to provide adequate security. The family’s case was strengthened because the alleged assailant Samaha was previously banned from the premises because of prior violent acts and/or acts of intoxication, according to the lawsuit. As is the case with the Berkeley, CA assault described above, the resort has an obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment for its  guests.  Unfortunately, in our 50 years of experience, we have repeatedly seen clear breaches of this duty of care.  Fortunately, we have also repeatedly been successful in holding hotels, cruise lines and vessel owners liable for this negligence.  

Jefferson City DoubleTree by Hilton Named in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

2014-2015 – In this case, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission filed a lawsuit on behalf of a housekeeper who claimed to have been verbally and physically harassed by a room inspector. The housekeeper reported an incident when the male room inspector threw her on the bed, stuck her in the arm, and made lewd comments. The defendants in this lawsuit  allegedly jointly operated the DoubleTree where the alleged harassment occurred. The EEOC claimed  they were aware of the harassment and failed to take appropriate action. The suit was filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Missouri law, sexual harassment exists when “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct … creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.   We are intimately familiar with workplace harassment cases, whether on land, or at sea, and we have the experience and resources to hold all such bad actors, and their employers, liable for workplace harassment.

Not All Torts Involve an Accident or Physical Injury

These cases serve as a reminder that the legal definition for “injuries” is often different from the way it is used colloquially. While falling down an elevator shaft is bound to lead to physical injuries, being verbally threatened at a resort may not. Both types of incidents, however, are legally actionable.  We so often hear from potential clients who tell us their stories.  They often think we cannot help or they do not have a case, but they are far too often wrong.  We are lucky to live in a country like the USA where there is a thriving, independent legal system.  Do not ever assume you do not have a case.  If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right.  So  speak with an experienced attorney to determine if you have a viable case.  Remember, our consultations are completely confidential and absolutely free.   

hilton-hotel-and-resorts

About Hilton Worldwide Holdings

Hilton Worldwide owns 971,000 rooms on 6,300 properties in 118 countries. Hilton Honors has 103 million members and the hotel chains employ 173,000 workers. With the sheer volume of guests and workers, the potential for negligent misconduct is enormous. The law is well settled that hotels like Hilton have a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances.  This means they must  take every reasonable precaution to ensure the safety and well being of their guests. 

Hilton Hotel and Resorts Subsidiaries

  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Canopy
  • Curio
  • DoubleTree
  • Embassy Suites
  • Garden Inn
  • Hampton
  • Homewood Suites
  • Home2 Suites

 

Our Hilton Accident Lawyers Are Ready To Take Cases To Trial

The attorneys of Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. have the experience and legal acumen to determine the viability of your case.  Whether you’re a guest or an employee, if you’ve been injured on a Hilton property or at some other hotel or resort, you may be entitled to significant damages. Call us at 877-233-1238 or use the contact form for a free legal consultation.