Beach, food and entertainment are all guests think about when on vacation but at times, there are unfortunate cases of injuries sustained while on vacation. Typical resort injuries may involve swimming or diving accidents, slip-and-fall injuries, elevator mishaps, fires, and shuttle accidents.
Hotels and resorts have a responsibility to keep their properties safe and free of hazards. When guests stay at a resort or hotel, it is expected that the grounds, provided transportation, and amenities are safe and free from danger. Hotels and resorts have a legal duty to warn guests of known dangerous conditions on the premises and to protect guests from known dangers and hazards.
Under the Occupiers Liability Act, there is a common duty of care imposed by section 3(2) which states: “the duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.”
Additionally, Section 3(3) explained that the occupier must also be prepared for children to be less careful than adults. As such, it will not be a defence for an occupier to say that a child refused to sit still thereby causing his own demise, if the occupier did not take any step to remove objects or conditions which would be inherently hazardous to children.
Furthermore, the resort is not absolved of liability in respect of injury to a guest merely because the guest was warned of the danger. Section 3(5) of the Act requires that the warning must in all circumstances be “enough to enable the visitor to be reasonably safe”. A warning may be verbal or written. In a decided case, the Court found that 12 clear “Caution-Wet Floor” signs which were placed around a wet area in an airport, the signs being reasonably positioned (not too low or too high), were sufficient warning to make the premises “reasonably safe”. The Court, therefore, found that the sole cause of the injury to the Claimant who slipped on the premises was her failure to do what was reasonable to safeguard herself.
Abi-Gaye White-Thomas B.A., LL.B (Hons)