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ON PROXIMATE CAUSE Negligent security at hotel – Inadequate security allegedly results in plaintiff being assaulted by party goers in other rooms on hotel floor – TBI – Alleged need for continuing supervision because of dangers, including using stove – Zygomatic arch fracture, jaw fractures, two lost teeth, and cervical and lumber herniated discs – Defendant uses security video from lobby to counter claim that he went to front desk to complain about party shortly before he was assaulted.

Essex County, NJ

The 19-year-old plaintiff contended that the defendant hotel negligently failed to provide adequate security. The plaintiff asserted that he checked in at approximately 11:00 p.m., as he was working for a moving company that had traveled from Ohio. The plaintiff claimed that loud noise was coming from surrounding room and asserted that a party had been continuing since approximately 11:00 p.m. The plaintiff further asserted that he went down to the lobby and tried to complain about the noise to the person at the front desk, but there was no one there to help him. The plaintiff maintained that when he went back to his floor and walked towards his room he was attacked by a number of guests from the party.

The plaintiff contended that he suffered fractures to the jaw and zygomatic arch and a mild TBI that left him with extensive memory and concentration deficits. The plaintiff, who was earning approximately $________ per hour, claimed that he is permanently unemployable and will permanently require continuing supervision because the deficits create dangers from activities such as using the stove. The defendant’s counsel advises that the plaintiff’s evidence of a life care plan approximated $________.

The defendant maintained that appropriate security was provided. The defendant further denied that the plaintiff went to the lobby to complain and contended that the security video from the lobby taken during the time period surrounding the time plaintiff testified that he made such complaints did not show the plaintiff at the front desk. The defendant also contended that when the security guard responded to the scene, a significant number of people were in the hallway.

When the police arrived, they observed that the plaintiff, who was underage, had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. In his deposition, the plaintiff had named four individuals listed on the police report as the assailants and the defendant named these individuals as third-party defendants. These third-party defendants defaulted. The defendant also claimed that the plaintiff’s claims that he will permanently require supervision should not be accepted, and introduced a surveillance tape depicting him driving a vehicle by himself.The jury found that the defendant was negligent, but that there was an absence of proximate cause.

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