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Slip and fall on ceramic tile floor inside hotel room - Floor allegedly maintained in excessively slippery condition - Herniated disc at L5-S1 - Fusion surgery recommended.

San Diego County, California

This was an action brought by the 38-year-old female plaintiff seamstress against the defendant Hyatt Corporation for injuries suffered by the plaintiff in a slip and fall accident which occurred while the plaintiff was staying as a guest at one of the defendant Hyatt’s hotel. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant hotel was negligent in maintaining the floor inside the plaintiff’s hotel room in a dangerous and excessively slippery condition, thereby causing the subject accident.

The subject accident occurred on September 4, ________. The plaintiff was staying as a guest in Room ________ at the Hyatt Island Hotel in San Diego, Ca. The ceramic tile floor upon which the plaintiff slipped was clean and dry. The evidence established that the plaintiff was wearing rubber-soled shoes at the time of the accident and had just stepped off of the carpet and onto the ceramic tile floor entryway when she slipped. The plaintiff testified that she was on her way to the bathroom at the time.

According to her testimony, her right foot slipped out from underneath her and she fell down. She claimed the floor was excessively slippery.

The plaintiff’s human factors expert maintained that he conducted slip resistant tests on the tile floor and found the coefficient of friction to be .45. The plaintiff’s expert testified that the minimum coefficient of friction for a safe walking surface is .50 or above. Anything less than .50 is substandard and unsafe. He testified that the tile floor was unsafe and was the cause of the plaintiff’s slip and fall accident. He recommended acid etching or use of wax to increase the slip resistance of the subject floor.

The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon testified that the plaintiff suffered injuries to her neck, low back, right elbow and right knee as a result of the fall. She received physical therapy and was given a TENS unit for pain. She also treated with a chiropractor and an acupuncturist. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon related that a discogram which he ordered following the accident was positive at L5-S1 for herniation. He recommended fusion surgery due to the plaintiff’s ongoing back pain. The plaintiff claimed that she missed time from work as a result of the injuries. The plaintiff claimed past medical specials of $________, future medical expenses of $________, past p 7 3 lost earnings of $________ and future lost earnings of $________.

The defendant denied negligence and contended that the floor was maintained in a safe and non-slippery condition. The defendant’s expert safety professional testified that he conducted slip resistant tests on the same tile floor with results ranging from .53 to .56 coefficient of friction. He testified that the industry standard for a slip resistant floor is .50. The reading above .50 classifies the subject floor as slip-resistant, according to this expert.

The plaintiff tendered a settlement demand of $________. The defendant made no offer of settlement. The jury found for the defendant.

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