Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: West Virginia Hotel Evacuated After Carbon Monoxide Detected; One Guest Dies And Others Hospitalized


The Holiday Inn Express along Corridor G in South Charleston has been evacuated after carbon monoxide was detected inside the building.

Kanawha County 911 Dispatchers tell a man was found dead in the hotel and three others taken to the hospital.

One man was seriously injured. The other two victims were taken to the hospital as a precaution.


A South Charleston Firefighter tells the two men were found on the 5th floor of the hotel.


Firefighters say there were extremely high levels of carbon monoxide found on several floors of the hotel.


About 10 to 15 people were inside the hotel at the time of the evacuation.


Firefighters say the room where the two men were staying did not have a carbon monoxide detector. According to the Assistant Fire Chief, hotels are not required by law to have carbon monoxide detectors, only smoke detectors.

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Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Nevada Hotel Sued For “Negligence” By Guests Claiming To Have Contracted “Legionnaires’ Disease” From Water System

Eight guests sued in August, seeking $337.5 million in damages from the resort and its builders. An MGM Resorts spokesman at the time denied negligence, saying hotel officials carefully communicated with its guests and reimbursed them fairly for legitimate medical expenses. The case is still pending in federal court in Las Vegas.

The bacteria that causes Legionellosis – or Legionnaires’ disease – was found in water samples at the Luxor hotel-casino this month after a guest died of the form of pneumonia, health officials in Las Vegas said Monday.

The Southern Nevada Health District said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national surveillance program reported three cases in the past year of Luxor guests being diagnosed with the disease caused by Legionella bacteria.

The Las Vegas Strip resort’s water was tested after the first two cases were reported during the spring of last year, but no Legionella bacteria was detected, district officials said. Those guests recovered.

Officials say the Luxor, owned by MGM Resorts International, immediately began a remediation process once the bacteria was found.

MGM Resorts spokesman Gordon Absher said treatment procedures include superheating and super-chlorination of the water system.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Hotel Owners And Management Will Face Numerous Compliance And Regulatory Issues In 2012

“The biggest issue hotel managers face in the coming year vis-à-vis the law is compliance with the myriad applicable statutes, rules and duties owed…”

A hotel faces potential legal consequences for all of the following:

  • negligence in the maintenance of its premises
  • failure to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (minimum pay, overtime pay, equal pay, child labor)
  • discrimination against employees based on minority status
  • denial of services to guests perceived as illegal discrimination
  • contending with internet reviews, disagreements with a franchisor
  • overstepping bounds with unions
  • misapplying tip pools
  • eradicating bed bugs and other pests
  • dram shop violations
  • food issues
  • security concerns
  • insufficient insurance
  • trademark and copyright violations
  • securing and maintaining necessary business licenses
  • tax obligations
  • sanitation issues in spas
  • contract disagreements with suppliers
  • guests’ rights to privacy
  • SEC mandates
  • Managing employees to ensure compliance with all of the above, and much more.

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Hospitality Industry Safety Risks: Texas Restaurants Receive “Dividends” Back From Workers Compensation Insurance Program For Maintaining “Successful Safety Programs”

“…dividends come back to restaurants participating in the TRA’s workers comp insurance program… creates incentives for the restaurants to have a safety program and to work with the insurance company and the employees to maintain a safer workplace….”

“Every year we get back … a little over half of our premium that we paid. So, it’s a big return of an expense,” says Lindskog whose company has been in the program since 2004. “A lot of people don’t want workers comp insurance because it’s expensive. But if you get half of it back, it makes it much more cost effective for your restaurant.”

Texas Mutual is the leading provider of workers comp insurance in the state. It was created by the Texas Legislature in 1991 when major reforms on workers comp became effective. Its board of directors is composed of individuals from companies it insures as well as those appointed by the governor of Texas.

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Hospitality Industry Employee Risks: Florida Hotel Employee Arrested For “Grand Theft” Of Laptops And Smartphones Over Past 18 Months

After nearly a year and a half, Orange County detectives have cracked a case they said involves thousands of dollars in theft from convention-goers and exhibitors at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort.

Rodney Hyppolite was arrested this week and charged with grand theft in the case. Some of the crimes he’s accused of date back to August 2010.

Police reports show Hyppolite admitted to stealing laptops, smartphones and other electronics while he was working at the International Drive-area hotel.

He’s also charged with theft from a local Lowe’s store. Cops said Hyppolite profited by selling the electronics at a variety of local pawn shops — mostly Cash America locations. Investigators even matched the suspect’s fingerprints to documents from the pawn shops before getting his confession.

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Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Insurance, Labor Issues, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Theft

Hospitality Industry Online Risks: Minnesota Hotel Manager Assists Police In Arrest Of Man Running “Online Escort Service At Hotel”

A 34-year-old Columbia Heights man is charged with promoting the prostitution of a 17-year-old girl – after a hotel manager found information about the man’s escort service online.

Samuel Cozart was charged Thursday in Ramsey County. According to the complaint, Cozart approached a man in the Days Inn Hotel in Roseville on Tuesday and asked where he could get fake identification for a girl staying with him.

The man happened to be the boyfriend of a hotel employee. So he told the hotel manager, who went online to investigate. The complaint says the manager found information about an escort service it seemed Cozart was running, and went to police.

Cozart’s attorney was in court Thursday and did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

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Hospitality Industry Health Risks: “High-End New York Hotels” Found To Have Bed Bugs

The Ritz is just the latest swanky hotel to report finding the blood-suckers in one of its rooms. Guests have previously complained about bedbugs at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Bedbugs have been spotted at the luxury Ritz-Carlton New York, reports The New York Times. A guest reported the pesky discovery to the front desk Sunday, and hotel management subsequently called an exterminator to rid the room of the creepy crawlers.

Guests in rooms next to the infested area, as well as those above and below it, were transferred to other accommodations and hotel workers received bedbug training, reports the Times.

Scott Geraghty, the hotel’s general manager, told the paper the problem had been remedied.

“Bedbugs are inevitable,” Geraghty said. “They’re brought in by guests and come in on luggage or things of that matter.”

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Hospitality Industry Employee Risks: Texas Hotel Sued By Former Restaurant Manager For “Retaliation” After Family Leave Of Absense

“… the company denies that Wike was fired in retaliation for taking time off under the FMLA…”

Back in November, the former restaurant manager for the Overton Hotel filed a labor lawsuit, claiming she was fired in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act. On Wednesday, the management company for the Overton, 1859 Historic Hotels Ltd., responded.

Kerri Wike claims she never had a bad job review prior to taking leave to care for her mother in the summer of last year. She claims that when she came back to work on Sept. 1, she was given the choice to resign or be fired.

The Overton says, “All actions taken by the Defendant were in good faith, were made in conformance with applicable law, were taken based on reasonable grounds for believing that its actions were not in violation of law, and were for legitimate, nonretaliatory reasons.”

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Other than denying retaliation, the Overton’s response is not specific as to why Wike was fired.

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Hospitality Industry Property Risks: Texas Hotel’s Insurance Company Sues “Irresponsible Hotel Guests” For Causing Fire Sprinklers To Flood 39 Rooms On Four Floors

“…the defendants damaged the hotel by hanging clothes on a fire sprinkler head mounted to the wall…the hanger broke the glass tube component in the sprinkler, which caused it to activate and release enough water to flood 39 rooms on four floors, a workout room and four corridors…”

An insurance company is suing over claims irresponsible hotel guests in River Oaks activated a sprinkler system, causing 39 rooms to flood. Lexington Insurance, on behalf of RLJ Development, filed a lawsuit on Monday, Jan. 23 in the Harris County District Court against Al J. Mizrahie, doing business as Belladonna U.S.A., and others, citing negligence.

Carpets, padding, drywall, baseboards, bedding, furniture and fixtures were damaged during the incident, the plaintiff claims.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Texas Hotel Sued For “Negligence” In “Slip-And-Fall” Accident

“…According to the brief, Rodriguez fell, while holding his son, when he slipped on algae growing on a walkway at the hotel…”

A Harris County man is suing over claims he was hurt while staying at a Spring-area extended-stay hotel.
Roy Rodriguez filed a lawsuit on Jan. 20 in Harris County District Court against Sun Suites of Green’s Point, and others, citing negligence.

Rodriguez says he suffered injuries as a guest at Sun Suites Extended Stay Hotel, located at 12010 Kuykendahl Road in Spring. Rodriguez is seeking damages and court costs. He is being represented in the case by Houston attorney Mehran “Mike” Talabi.

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