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Orange County Partners Obtain Unanimous Defense Verdict For Luxury Hotel

Esther P. Holm, ABOTA Trial Lawyer and Professional Liability Practice Co-Chair, and Andrew A. Higgs, Partner, obtained a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of a high-end luxury hotel in Palm Springs, California, in a premises liability and negligence suit.

The plaintiff, a guest at the resort, sued the hotel alleging it was negligent and responsible for a shower curtain rod which, he claimed, inexplicably fell as he pulled the curtain to exit the shower.  Plaintiff claimed the shower rod struck him in the nose, and he fell backward into the tub, striking the back of his head on the handicap grab bar. 

Plaintiff contended the shower rod was improperly installed, and the screws were loosened by the inspectress, who would stand on the tub enclosure and hold the rod while cleaning.  Defendant contended the shower rod came down because it had been exposed to tremendous outward forces which resulted in all of the screws being pulled out of the wall.  Both sides of the rod came out at the same time, as evidenced by the two front anchors remaining in the wall, and the two back anchors being pulled out. 

Plaintiff claimed a traumatic brain injury, fractured nose, and loss of ability to continue in his profession as an entrepreneur.  He sought past and future medical bills, loss of earnings, loss of business and employment opportunities, and additional economic damages and general damages adding up to $7.5 million.

The jury took less than four hours to reach a unanimous defense verdict following a three-week trial.


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