Just saw two new lawsuits filed against hotels under the recently-effective pool lift regulation. Both lawsuits were filed on May 20—one in federal court in Minneapolis against a national hotel chain and the second, a putative class action in federal court in Houston against what appears to be a local Motel 6 franchisee. Both lawsuits are based on allegations that the hotels failed to make their pools and spas accessible. In particular, they allege that the hotels failed to install pool lifts under the new federal regulations that became effective on January 31, 2013.
The Houston lawsuit is notable because it was brought by the same lawyer (Eric Calhoun of Dallas’ Travis & Calhoun) who is acting as co-counsel in the more than two dozen pool lift lawsuits filed in federal court in Indianapolis.
As I predicted in the last issue of the Hospitality eAuthority these cases are only going to grow more common. Even though the new regulation became effective a few months ago, it is not too late to take action to minimize your risk and liability if sued. If you own a hotel, school, health spa, or other facility with a pool or spa, you should act quickly and before you get sued.
David Raizman is a shareholder in the Los Angeles office of Ogletree Deakins.